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Last Updated: 10/28/16

Standards Organizations

DICOM Standards Committee exists to create and maintain international standards for communication of biomedical diagnostic and therapeutic information in disciplines that use digital images and associated data. The goals of DICOM are to achieve compatibility and to improve workflow efficiency between imaging systems and other information systems in healthcare environments worldwide. DICOM is a cooperative standard. Therefore, connectivity works because vendors cooperate in testing via scheduled public demonstration, over the Internet, and during private test sessions. Every major diagnostic medical imaging vendor in the world has incorporated the standard into their product design and most are actively participating in the enhancement of the standard. Most of the professional societies throughout the world have supported and are participating in the enhancement of the standard as well. DICOM is used or will soon be used by virtually every medical profession that utilizes images within the healthcare industry. These include cardiology, dentistry, endoscopy, mammography, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pathology, pediatrics, radiation therapy, radiology, surgery, etc. DICOM is even used in veterinary medical imaging applications.

Founded in 1987, Health Level Seven, Inc., is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited, standards developing organization that provides standards for the exchange, management, and integration of data that supports clinical patient care and the management, delivery, and evaluation of healthcare services. Its 2,200 members represent over 500 corporations, including 90 percent of the largest information systems vendors serving healthcare. HL7’s endeavors are sponsored, in part, by the support of its benefactors: CAP Gemini Ernst & Young U.S. LLC, Eclipsys Corporation, Eli Lilly & Company, IDX Systems Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, McKesson Information Solutions, Microsoft Corporation, Philips Medical Systems, Quest Diagnostics Inc., Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services, Sun Microsystems and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.