DICOM is a global Information-Technology standard that is used in virtually all hospitals worldwide. Its current structure, which was developed in 1993, is designed to ensure the interoperability of systems used to: Produce, Store, Display, Process, Send, Retrieve, Query or Print medical images and derived structured documents as well as to manage related workflow.

DICOM enables the integration of medical imaging acquisition systems, scanners, servers, workstations, printers, and network hardware from multiple manufacturers into a picture archiving and communication system (PACS). 

DICOM is known as NEMA standard PS3, and as ISO standard 12052:2006 "Health informatics -- Digital imaging and communication in medicine (DICOM) including workflow and data management".