NEMA releases DICOM update

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has released a 16-part update to the DICOM standard.

Approximately 25 new features have been added to the 2004 standard, including Web access and new media such as USB and flash memory devices that can be used to transport DICOM information, said Dwight Simon, Merge eFilm medical standards director and vendor chair of the DICOM committee.

The committee has improved functionality for newer specialties using DICOM, such as dentistry, ophthalmology, breast imaging, and ob/gyn, Also added are more functions to aid users in capturing the information they need to do reporting in areas such as in cath labs, vascular and intravascular ultrasound, breast imaging, and echocardiography, Simon said.

Two new parts have been added to the standard, including Part 17, Explanatory Information. This part contains additional information in the form of one normative annex and 20 informative annexes, according to NEMA.

Designed for distribution of images and results to healthcare professionals, Part 18, Web Access to DICOM Persistent Objects (WADO), specifies a Web-based service for accessing and presenting DICOM persistent objects such as images and medical reports. The new standard will allow physicians to use a Web browser on an office or home PC to obtain and review any medical image, NEMA said.

In other changes, Parts 9 and 13 have been deemed no longer necessary, and have been discontinued.

By staff writers
December 21, 2004

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NEMA releases gamma probe standard, March 4, 2004

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