At its meeting on December 5, the DICOM Standards Committee (DSC) approved the establishment of a new Working Group, WG-33 Data Archive and Management. I would like to invite all readers of this blog to consider participating in this new Working Group.
The scope of WG-33 is the interoperability of systems that archive and manage DICOM data. The focus is on the management and interoperability of the archive data set as a whole, rather than interoperability of the data for individual studies or patients. The initial charge to WG-33 is to determine appropriate modifications to the DICOM Standard to better support PACS migrations, and to propose a corresponding Work Item to the DSC. The impetus for this was the Laitek proposal for a new PACS storage standard, as outlined in these blogs over the past few months.
Participation in this WG is free and open to all interested parties. The DSC especially invites participation by enterprise imaging architects and imaging informaticists in healthcare provider organizations, PACS and VNA product architects and engineers, and providers of support services. WG members will meet by teleconference once or twice a month, typically for 1-2 hours. They will be responsible to review materials, such as position papers, and to discuss and vote on draft DICOM supplements. Total time commitment is about 3-5 hours per month.
I would encourage you to participate even if you have never participated in standards development or are unsure about whether you can contribute. I guarantee it will be a learning experience – there will likely be some interesting discussions on patient safety, techniques of data migration, standardization strategy, and other possibly contentious topics. You will certainly be introduced to parts of the DICOM Standard that you have never seen, and may pick up some insights into imaging informatics.
Voting membership in WG-33 is granted to any member of the DSC (including members of SIIM, RSNA, ECR, and other professional societies that are members of the DSC). Non-members of the DSC may be granted voting membership in WG-33 upon submission of the patent declaration and approval by the DSC at its next meeting. Any person may have observer status simply by informing the Secretariat. To join WG-33, please fill in the form at https://www.dicomstandard.org/participate/.
I will be serving as convener for the initial meeting by tcon in January. This meeting will discuss the scope of WG-33, review the processes for DICOM WGs, elect co-chairs, and establish a meeting schedule. The folks who sign up in the next week will receive a Doodle poll for their preferences for a meeting time. Please contact me if you have any questions, items to be added to the agenda, or position statements you would like to distribute to the WG.
WG-33 will elect two Co-Chairs, one from the manufacturer category and one from the healthcare provider organization category. Responsibilities of the Co-Chairs are to organize the meeting agendas, run the meetings ensuring all points of view are fairly represented, and report on progress to the DSC three time a year. The Co-Chair does not have to be neutral during technical discussions but does need to help the WG achieve consensus. If you would like to stand for election as Co-Chair, please submit a statement to the Secretariat (email@example.com) with a brief bio, qualifications, and position statement. (Note: I will not stand for election as WG Co-Chair.)
Please help circulate this invitation for participation to all potentially interested parties.
Author Harry Solomon is an interoperability consultant for Laitek, Inc., and past Co-Chair of the DICOM Standards Committee. He has been involved in the development of DICOM since 1993, and has taught graduate courses in healthcare interoperability and standards at Northwestern University and at Oregon Health & Science University. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.