DICOM is the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine.
I basically defines services and image data interchange between services
in a hospital environment.
For example, you have a patient comes into a cath lab for a cath
That loop of images needs to be stored some where and be capable of
other nodes in the hospital. Like an image review station that the
to diagnose. The rules and conventions to do this are defined by the
“The DICOM Information Model defines the structure and organization of
the information related to communication of medical images.”
In the above example, the loop of images is defined as a DICOM IOD
(Image Object Definition) and provides a standard set of attributes
(view) of the information to be interchanged to Application Entities
(AE). Each AE plays a role in the DIMSE (DICOM Message Service
Element) communication exchange. Either as a SCU (Service Class User)
or as a SCP (Service Class Provider). Service Class is just a
collection of SOP (Service Object Pair) Classes. And a SOP Class is
defined as the union of the DIMSE and one IOP. For the above review
station to get the loop of images from another AE, it needed to
establish a DICOM Association with that AE, perform a C-FIND to
located the image loop, and then do a C-MOVE to get the image.
HL7 is defined as Healthcare Level 7.
It is used in hospitals for the exchange of related patient
information between hospital nodes. For example, patient visit
scheduling, exams, prescriptions, et al.
The version 2 of HL7 was a pipe (|) deliminated message structure and
is still prevalent at most hospitals. Version 3 of HL7 went towards
standardizing on XML for it’s information interchange. It is better
to work with version 3 instead of version 2 because of the flexibility
that version 2 gave implementors in ignoring aspects of the
“standard”. Version 3 goes after eliminating this flexibility to
provide less need for customization with each vendor your application
IHE (Integrated Healthcare Enterprise), I am less familiar with; but
from my reading it is targeted more at the vertical healthcare
markets. Cardiology, Radiology, etc. Thus, it uses DICOM and HL7 in
it’s attempt to bring together an integrated healthcare record for the
I know that this was long winded but I hope it helps.
On 12/31/05, Ammon C. firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
“Nothing will ever be attempted, if all
possible objections must first be
overcome.” - Samuel Johnson
“Luck is what happens when
preparation meets opportunity.” - Seneca