1 Scope and field of application

PS 3.1 provides an overview of the entire Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) Standard. It describes the history, scope, goals, and structure of the Standard. In particular, it contains a brief description of the contents of each part of the Standard.

The DICOM Standard facilitates interoperability of medical imaging equipment by specifying:

— For network communications, a set of protocols to be followed by devices claiming conformance to the Standard.

— Information that must be supplied with an implementation for which conformance to the Standard is claimed.

The DICOM Standard does not specify:

— The implementation details of any features of the Standard on a device claiming conformance.

— The overall set of features and functions to be expected from a system implemented by integrating a group of devices each claiming DICOM conformance.

— A testing/validation procedure to assess an implementation's conformance to the Standard.

The DICOM Standard pertains to the field of Medical Informatics. Within that field, it addresses the exchange of digital information between medical imaging equipment and other systems. Because such equipment may interoperate with other medical devices, the scope of this Standard needs to overlap with other areas of medical informatics. However, the DICOM Standard does not address the breadth of this field.