NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) has released a 16-part 2006 update of the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) standard. The standard is a multi-part set of rules that establishes a single language for exchanging digital images and related information such as patient name, reason for the procedure, instrument used, and more.
DICOM enables users to acquire, display, store, query, retrieve, move, or print medical images between instruments, computers, and hospitals. It also facilitates interoperability of medical imaging equipment. The standard is used by virtually all medical professionals who use digital imaging in their practices.
"The 2006 DICOM standard introduced many new features that are relevant to users. For example, dose reporting for radiation exposure will improve the documentation and quality of procedures," said Peter Mildenberger, professor of radiology, University Hospital Mainz in German, and DICOM user co-chair. "The CT/MR cardiovascular analysis report will improve the workflow in computer-based evaluation, as well as communication of the results. New compression algorithms will help speed up PACS solutions and teleradiology. As DICOM becomes the imaging standard in medicine, more and more clinical disciplines, hospitals, and government institutions are committed to this standard," he added.