SNOMED International and DICOM have formally extended their longstanding agreement to publish a SNOMED CT Freeset of coded concepts in the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) Standard.

This collaboration agreement, a renewal of the agreement negotiated in 2016, will extend for a five-year term to July 1, 2026. DICOM has been incorporating SNOMED CT into its standard for more than 20 years, originally through an agreement with the College of American Pathologists before SNOMED CT was undertaken by IHTSDO, now rebranded as SNOMED International.

“This is great news for our collective medical imaging interoperability community,” says Lawrence Tarbox, co-chair of the DICOM Standard Committee. “We are thrilled to continue collaboration with SNOMED International with this agreement renewal, supporting the consistent use of standardized clinical terminology within DICOM that will ultimately benefit patient care.”

This renewed licensing agreement covers the use of an agreed-upon set of 7,000-plus SNOMED CT codes and descriptions in the DICOM Standard. The SNOMED CT-DICOM set is updated once annually in line with the July SNOMED CT international release, considering changes to SNOMED CT and any requests for changes from the DICOM Standard Committee.

“Renewal of our joint commitment to enable the use of consistent clinical terminology for imaging purposes is a clear example of the recent interoperability statements issued at the G7 Health Ministers meeting,” says SNOMED International CEO Don Sweete. “The importance of international health collaboration is at the core of our approach to partnerships, in which DICOM continues to play a vital role.”

The DICOM Freeset is also available as part of SNOMED International’s Global Patient Set (GPS), an open product designed to enable the sharing of patient health information coded with SNOMED CT across care settings, systems, and national borders. Supporting the movement of structured clinical terminology and providing options for countries at the beginning of their digital health journey, the GPS is a managed collection of existing reference sets available to any user at no cost and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 

Including clinical content across dentistry, renal, family and general practice, and nursing areas, the GPS also includes IHE and HL7 International Patient Summary (IPS) domains and activities in addition to DICOM content.

To learn more about this continuously evolving collaboration, please visit the DICOM and SNOMED International websites. The DICOM SNOMED CT content is available via the SNOMED CT International Edition and accessible as part of SNOMED International’s Global Patient Set.