Overview#Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) is a standard protocol for storing and transmitting Health Care images.
Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine includes a File System format definition and a network communications protocol. The communication protocol is an application protocol that uses TCP/IP to communicate between systems. Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine files can be exchanged between two entities that are capable of receiving image and Patient Data in DICOM format.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) holds the copyright to this standard. Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine was developed by the DICOM Standards Committee, whose members are also partly members of NEMA.
Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine enables the integration of medical imaging devices – like scanners, servers, workstations, printers, network hardware, and picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) – from multiple manufacturers. The different devices come with DICOM Conformance Statements which clearly state which DICOM classes they support. DICOM has been widely adopted by hospitals and is making inroads in smaller applications like dentists' and doctors' offices.