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Standards > DICOM

DICOM, which stands for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine is the main set of standards currently in use by medical communities for information handling. Parts of DICOM cover handling, storing, printing, and transmitting medical imaging information.

Perhaps of far greater interest to VR development, DICOM has been widely adopted by hospitals and is making inroads in smaller applications like dentists' and doctors' offices. This means it is already in place, or soon will be in place in almost every medical market.

The DICOM file format definition allows medical data from any source - CAT, MRI, Ultrasound, Digital X-ray, CCG, et al, to be brought together and combined in a single program.

Whilst DICOM files cannot create VR environments on their own, they are stored as image files, or strips of image files, allowing them to be later modified and / or combined by a VR program.

Several commercial VR displays currently exist which make use of DICOM information to merge scans together. Two of those are the Dextroscope for surgical use, and the Perspecta for both surgical and non-surgical display.

Further information

The Dicom Standard

DICOM Standard homesite


DICOM Worldwide Information Sources

Staff Comments


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