DICOMweb™ and HL7® FHIR®

DICOMweb and HL7 FHIR are complementary standards to service the needs of imaging in healthcare.  HL7 and FHIR provides the information model for health information, whereas DICOM and DICOMweb provides the information and payload for imaging. DICOM’s WG-20: Integration of Imaging and Information Systems works closely with HL7’s Imaging Integration Workgroup to keep these services aligned.

FHIR includes a resource that describes references to the available imaging studies, called ImagingStudy.  This resource can include references to the base URL of a DICOMweb server (via EndPoint), and the implementer can then use the DICOMweb qualified URLs to query and retrieve the DICOM instances as necessary (including rendered JPEGs).

DICOMweb™ and IHE

IHE is an initiative by healthcare professionals and industry to improve the way computer systems in healthcare share information. IHE promotes the coordinated use of established standards such as DICOM and HL7 to address specific clinical needs in support of optimal patient care. Systems developed in accordance with IHE communicate with one another better, are easier to implement, and enable care providers to use information more effectively.

DICOMweb and IHE, in particular IHE Radiology domain, are complementary services to provide an integrated solution for imaging in healthcare. DICOMweb provides the underlying standard. Then IHE uses this standard, and possibly in combination with other standards such as FHIR, to provide an integrated imaging related workflow. For example:

  • Web-based Image Capture (WIC) uses DICOMweb’s Store (STOW-RS) methods to enable acquisition of images using web services.
  • Web Image Access (WIA) (formerly MHD-I) provides image sharing via Query (QIDO-RS) and Retrieve (WADO-RS). This allows clients to discover studies and retrieve additional series/instance metadata, as well as retrieve specific images while being neutral about backend image sharing infrastructure. It can be used with XDS / XDS-I infrastructure, and integrate with ITI MHD (Mobile Access to Documents), in order to enable Document Consumers to locate and interact with imaging studies more efficiently using document metadata.
  • RRR-WF provides workflow for remote radiology reading workflows, via DICOMweb’s Worklist (UPS-RS) service.