MITA Announces Publication of New Edition of DICOM Standard

Washington, D.C. – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) today announced the publication of the new edition of the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) Standard, which provides capabilities that allow digital imaging technologies to interact seamlessly. The updated edition of the international standard includes an extensible markup language (XML) representation of the standard. DICOM is updated annually to address the complex and evolving needs of the users. Ultimately this advances healthcare informatics so that patients can benefit from faster, more effective care.
 
“In the era of big data, it is more important than ever for health information technology to use appropriate standards to connect healthcare systems so that data can flow and be understood between different systems. The machine-readable standard makes this happen,” said Gail Rodriguez, executive director of MITA. “The new edition of the DICOM Standard also includes a family of DICOMweb services which will facilitate wider image sharing, enhance accessibility for clinical interpretation and advance a more evidence-based, patient-focused healthcare process.”
 
The updated DICOM Standard is the first and only healthcare information technology (HIT) standard to be published in a machine-readable (DocBook) XML form in addition to traditional PDF and Microsoft Word forms so that software and validation tools can directly import details of the standard. By eliminating the need to manually transcode some details of the standard, the new format will save time and help avoid errors. It will also make it feasible to update and republish the DICOM Standard on a quarterly basis, so information can be updated more frequently.
 
DICOM is a constantly evolving standard that exists on virtually every medical imaging and radiation therapy technology and information system.  It is used in radiology, breast imaging, cardiology, radiotherapy, oncology, dentistry, ophthalmology, pathology and other specialties.