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About DICOM

What is DICOM?

The Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) protocol, developed in the early nineties by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), is the universal transmission protocol for devices involved in medical imaging and the file format of images obtained from medical imaging modalities such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound imaging, and radiography, among many others. It has become universally adopted in medical facilities employing medical imaging while its application continues to expand further into many other medical disciplines other than radiology as an increasing number of hospitals, clinics, and practices begin to digitize their medical imaging, archiving, and distribution processes.

DICOM solutions enable the archiving, retrieval, and distribution of DICOM images and related clinical documents and ensure interoperability between medical imaging computer systems by effectively integrating imaging devices, servers, workstations, printers, and PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) from different manufacturers.



How to Use DICOM?

DICOM technology is constantly developing and various types of DICOM software are often available for all major operating systems such as Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Radiologists as well as anyone working with medical imaging have much to benefit from keeping up with these developments and staying informed on the many applications of DICOM solutions.

A DICOM program can be used to perform several functions – as a DICOM viewer, teaching tool, PACS server, and research tool. Its most obvious application – as a DICOM viewer – enables viewing DICOM files on a diverse range of devices.

Many DICOM browsers come with functions designed specifically for teaching purposes. The digital storing of medical images is particularly advantageous for teaching purposes as it eliminates the need for pricey film-based images and facilitates both the archival and distribution of DICOM images. DICOM files can be exported or saved in other formats such as JPEG, GIF, and TIFF in order to create teaching files with more manageable file sizes.

DICOM software can provide PACS solutions of varying degrees of complexity, from acting as mini-PACS systems to sophisticated systems integrated with a health or research facility’s servers, electronic medical record (EMR) systems, hospital information systems (HIS), and radiology information systems (RIS). These are able to access information stored locally or on networks and search through the file directories. Lastly, there are DICOM programs that can be used to analyze medical imaging data for research purposes. The ability to anonymize patient data further supports this application of DICOM.

PostDICOM unites all of these functions by acting as a cloud-based PACS while providing a sophisticated DICOM viewer and features facilitating the creation and distribution of teaching and research material.



DICOM Solutions

With storage demands constantly increasing, DICOM-related software solutions enable radiology practices and other facilities employing medical imaging to overcome the challenges that come with archiving and distributing enormous DICOM files.

PostDICOM solves this issue by using streaming technology, making the stored DICOM images accessible within seconds.

While the DICOM standard does facilitate data encryption, the implementation of encryption is entirely dependent on DICOM service providers and hospitals using these services. DICOM software manufacturers can choose to not implement encryption in their services in which case the hospitals using such unencrypted DICOM have the option of setting up encrypted VPN networks, but the effectiveness of such security solutions is a different debate.

PostDICOM prioritizes secure data storage and retrieval. Our services include security measures such as data encryption with AES 256 specification and secure communication between servers ensured through SSL encryption.



DICOM Reader

Viewing DICOM images outside of computer networks which contained them used to require obtaining the hard copies of the images printed to films. Several types of DICOM viewers developed with the advancement of DICOM solutions.

When obtaining DICOM files from CDs or flash drives, free DICOM viewers are usually included on the storage device. These often provide only the most basic functions.

Downloadable DICOM viewers offer more diversity in functions, but the free varieties are usually only appropriate for educational purposes. Basic image-processing tools are included, such as adjusting image contrast, brightness, size, and orientation, performing measurements and annotating, and viewing two sets of images simultaneously.

Cloud-based DICOM viewers enable viewing and processing DICOM files online without the need to install any software on client devices.

PostDICOM provides a cloud-based free DICOM viewer for viewing DICOM images and related clinical documents, accessed from the HTML5 interface, supported across all major platforms (Windows, MacOS, Linux, IOS, and Android), and equipped with advanced viewing tools – MPR (Multi-Planar Projection), MIP (Maximum Intensity Projection), MINIP (Minimum Intensity Projection), AVGIP (Average Intensity Projection), 3D Construction, PET/CT fusion, and PET/MR fusion. Our services prioritize security – all transmissions are SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encoded and files are able to be additionally secured by assigning passwords.



DICOM Files

There are several ways to open DICOM files:


  • When they are stored on discs or flash drives, a DICOM viewer which is usually included can be used.

  • Free DICOM viewer software can be downloaded from the web and installed on devices.

  • Cloud-based DICOM viewers can be used to open and view the files online.

  • Popular image viewers and editors such as Adobe Photoshop and GIMP can also be used to open DICOM images.

  • Depending on the program used to open the DICOM files, they may be saved or exported into various other file formats.


Users of PostDICOM are meticulously walked through the process of working with DICOM files in the online knowledge base which provides detailed instructions for desktop web, tablet, and mobile interfaces.

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