You know that there are many types of image formats like JPEG, PDF, PNG, and MOV. As these formats are not suitable for using patients’ imaging systems, doctors and imaging centers go with DICOM. Now, you’ll ask what DICOM is.

In a simple answer, DICOM is the short form of Digital Imaging & Communications in Medicine. That means this is a type of file format that comes to use when you need to save your medical image.

Also, this type of format requires special DICOM file viewer to view and access the image file. So, keep reading on if you’re in the medical field plus trying to find out what a DICOM format is.


DICOM is indeed a global standard of storing medical images these days. It does not just use to store medical images; it also uses to transmit them with desired users. Almost the same at the way you embed an attachment with JPEG format, DICOM lets you get grouping important data to its data sets.

These include your patients’ name, their ID, their date of birth, and some other essential information. But, if you use this format, you’re sure to never lose or separate any included data.

Now, you’ll ask why you then don’t use JPEG format. Great question and here is why. JPEG is somewhat low-grade than DICOM. Most parts of the DICOM image gets converted as well as compressed to this file format while exporting it.

Another issue is that the JPEG file comes with a single color or monochrome images. Also, they don’t have linked with metadata. But, DICOM files come with multiple monochrome images with a good placing of metadata.

DICOM Files Viewing Methods

When you save your medical images into DICOM format, it ensures the intact availability of all metadata. This is the main reason why DICOM is more preferable to store and transfer image data between DICOM supporting devices. It’s OK you have sent image files, now how someone can open to view them.

It’s just as simple as you’re opening your MS Word file if you have a good DICOM viewer or MRI viewing software. But, don’t forget one thing that when you have DICOM files, you never should try to rename them. You’ll not be able to change their format and they require a special type of conversion app to perform this task.

Also, you have the option to open these files using your PACS to view them. If you buy a PACS, it usually comes with a viewer. But, you can view them directly into your internet browser from anywhere and anytime if you’re using a good Cloud solution. And these ideal alternatives are between the medical communities.


In terms of medical imaging, DICOM is the number one file format. You’ll get all attached metadata with this format without losing a single digit. Also, it’s not difficult to access DICOM files. You just need a DICOM file viewer or a good internet browser that comes with the viewing option of .dcm files.


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