September/October 2021 | Vol. 26 No. 5
Modern healthcare demands a close working relationship between users and manufacturers, particularly in the development of Standards. This can be seen in the history of the DICOM Standard, which originated with the American College of Radiology (ACR) and NEMA working together to develop the initial Standard in the early 1980s. DICOM is now the de facto Standard for all medical imaging and is used to collect, send, receive, store, process, query, and display medical images across virtually all manufacturers, machines, and modalities. Conformance to interoperability Standards like DICOM facilitates reliable and stable clinical workflows over products from multiple vendors, bringing maximum benefit to patients and clinical staff.
Updates to the DICOM Standard via Supplements (large extensions) and Change Proposals (small clarifications) represent improvements and advances in imaging technology and techniques. DICOM allows this innovation to reach the customer more quickly, as a single Standard works across all vendors in increasingly multi-vendor customer sites. By having a single imaging exchange Standard that is free to access and use, new vendors can more easily enter the market since they do not have to develop novel interfaces.
In my role as Senior Project Manager of DICOM, I manage the workflow of 15 DICOM Working Groups (WG) and their Subgroups. I administer the WG-06 Base Standard, to which the DICOM Standard Committee has designated the responsibility for the technical consistency of the Standard. All work from any DICOM WG or submitted by the public must flow through WG- 06, which holds five weeklong meetings per year.
The best part of my job is the interaction with DICOM Members from all over the world, and I enjoy recruiting participants to our various Working Groups. I look forward to doing more of this in person once travel restrictions are lifted. Through my work with DICOM, I’ve been afforded a unique opportunity to witness firsthand the impacts of interoperability in healthcare, and standardization in general. ei