The DICOM standard
The DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) standard is a standard protocol for communication between devices that generate, transmit and open medical images. This basically means that machines and equipment from different manufacturers can talk to one another using a common language.
A DICOM file is a universal type of file format used in all modern digital imaging equipment. You can think about a DICOM image a bit like a JPEG but with a large amount of additional embedded information (such as the patient name, identification number, date of imaging etc.) It is important to only use DICOM files for high quality teleradiology interpretation.
A DICOM viewer is a piece of software that can open and manipulate DICOM files.
A DICOM workstation is basically just a computer where DICOM files are viewed on a DICOM viewer. Workstations can be for quality control or for diagnosis.
A PACS (picture archiving and communication system) provides storage, rapid retrieval and access to digital images. It consists of the imaging modalities, a data network, viewing workstations and storage archives. All the components of a PACS work together to create an easy-access library where your imaging studies are stored.
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