Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine

Assessment and comparison of Digital Images (DICOM and non-DICOM) as viewed on web-based systems and image workstations.

This paper provides a thorough explanation of the digital imaging process and its application in the field of medicine. The paper talks about the aim of DICOM (digital imaging and communications in medicine) standards, how DICOM standards have been adopted by other medical specialties, and how they have become the predominant standard for the communication of medical images. The paper explains the specifics of DICOM standards, the mission, and usage. The paper also explains what non-DICOM images are and the features required to convert non-DICOM output to DICOM output. The paper also talks about the ethical issues and implications of medical imaging and how DICOM addresses these issues. It also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of DICOM. An overall positive assessment of DICOM standards concludes the paper.

Background
Research Design
Mission of DICOM
Usage of DICOM
Need for DICOM Knowledge
Non DICOM Images
Ethical Issues/Implications
The Future of DICOM
“The waning cost of computer processing power and the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth fueled by the Internet will remain to have increasing benefits for medicine. New applications and capabilities, especially those based on the integration of information from multiple sources, will play an ever-growing role in improving the quality of healthcare delivery and reducing costs. One of the most primitive visions for the application of communications technology came into view in 1924 with an illustration on the cover of a magazine presenting the “Radio Doctor”. The illustration shows what is basically a modern interactive video conferencing unit with medical peripherals. The irony is that, at that time these technology were not available at that time. Way back in 1973, two doctors Paul Capp and Sol Nudelman visualized “Photo-electronic Radiology”, a pioneer technology in itself. They had the courage to announce that there was no longer requirement of the film and all radiological imaging would be obtained by computer based, photo-electronic systems. Images would then be stored electronically, transmitted around the hospital in digital format and viewed on electronic displays. At that time as well, the technologies necessary to fulfill such a vision were not existing or just in their formative years. The microprocessor was just being developed. Local area networks were still a research lab curiosity. Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) displays were prehistoric, bulky, very expensive and offered relatively low quality images.”

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