DICOM was originally developed by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the American College of Radiology for computerized axial tomography (CAT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan images. It is now controlled by the DICOM Standards Committee and supports a wide range of medical images across the fields of radiology, cardiology, pathology and dentistry. DICOM uses TCP/IP as the lower-layer transport protocol.
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The DICOM standard enables interoperability, which is considered important to reducing the cost of health care.