Imaging and communications technologies capture and transmit digital images from humans, animals, and objects for integration with various inspection and analysis systems.
Those equipment and systems perform at least one of the following functions:
- Digital image generation, acquisition, inspection, transmission, and storage
- Digital electronic display capable of being used for more than one image acquisition device
- Communication using secure local and/or extended networks, telecommunications networks, or video networks
- Image and metadata encoding and decoding with integration into other information systems
- Non-imaged based (e.g., trace) detection
A key component of imaging and communications technologies is the ability to provide a data interchange protocol and interoperable, extensible file format to facilitate data information interchange (e.g., demographic information, x-ray radiographs, material-specific information, trace detection signatures, and/or threat assessment) for humans, animals, and other objects of inspection for utilization across range applications. The Digital Imaging and Communication in Security (DICOS) Standard developed by NEMA accomplishes those functions in its specific space.
The DICOS Standard is designed to, and offers, the following benefits:
- Modular: Data entered for one purpose is reusable for other purposes
- Standardized: Metadata associated with a security image is standardized so that the transmitting and receiving device both read and understand the metadata associated with a security image
- Interoperable: Metadata associated with an image captured and transmitted from one manufacturer’s device can be read and understood by a receiving device from another manufacturer.
- Extensible: Should an implementing entity wish to use additional technologies for security examination purposes in the future, DICOS can be extended to accommodate new technologies
- Responsive: DICOS permits the exchange of security images (where appropriate) and standard metadata in a timely fashion
DICOS is an adaption of Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM). DICOM is the international standard for medical images and related information (ISO 12052). It defines the formats for medical images that can be exchanged with the data and quality necessary for clinical use. DICOM is implemented in almost every radiology, cardiology imaging, and radiotherapy device (X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, etc.), and increasingly in devices in other medical domains such as ophthalmology and dentistry
Who Uses DICOS, and Who Should Start?
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has an active role in the current revision of the DICOS Standard and previously worked with NEMA to publish the previous version. The current revision will include areas like streaming security image data, enhanced threat detection reporting, and new modalities such as air cargo.
The TSA initiative for an imaging standard to meet open architecture and interoperable requirements necessary to meet emerging threats is imperative. DICOS accomplishes this mission by improving security screenings of checked baggage, cargo, and passengers.
Several other sectors—such as parcel, cargo and vehicle inspection, human screening, radiation and trace detection, quality assurance, and health-related contact tracing—would benefit from the adoption of DICOS.
To learn more about the DICOS Standard and how it could be adapted to your mission or market segment, please contact NEMA Industry Director Steve Griffith at email@example.com.