Communication Profiles

DICOM conformance statements are the specifications of the DICOM capabilities and features of a particular product, presented in a standard, defined manner. Matching these documents to devices is critical to determine interconnectivity.

To determine if any two devices can communicate using DICOM, one has to carefully match the two DICOM Conformance Statements using the seven basic guidelines listed.  One of these guidelines states that the communication profiles of the two devices need to be matched. 

Communication profile refers to the standards used for networking, such as TCP/IP, Ethernet, ATM, etc. The DICOM standard itself does not really specify the physical network communication. It specifies an interface with the so-called transport layer (TCP/IP), which provides standardized communication options.

What happens if one device supports a 100 Mbps Ethernet and the hospital just had a new Gigabit/sec fiber backbone network installed for communicating between imaging devices? In order to specify to the network or communications team at the hospital what they need to provide as a bridge (or router) that will convert the Ethernet and connect it to the backbone, one should look at the details of the physical communication implementation of the device in the communications profile section of the Conformance Statement.

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