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Why is the DICONDE (ASTM E2339) IT standard so important for NDT?

DICONDE is almost entirely based on the international DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) IT standard that for more than twenty years has been widely used in healthcare.

DICOM revolutionized the workflow and the data exchange between patient management systems and diagnostic devices, above all for x-ray systems, and is established worldwide throughout the industry and among users.

Just like in NDT today, all manufacturers of medical technology used to provide their own proprietary data format. It was impossible to exchange images, measurements and diagnoses since special programs or archives from the different manufacturer were needed. The users, however, requested a vendor-neutral format for workflow-supporting (image) data exchange, for compliant archiving and for onscreen diagnostic reading.
This is precisely what DICOM provides, since DICOM describes

  • data structures for images and image-related data
  • network-oriented services
  • formats for data media exchange

ASTM recognized that the advantages DICOM brought to healthcare are also beneficial for NDT and made the necessary adjustments. The result is DICONDE standard ASTM E2339 which overcomes the problems created when archiving and analyzing data from a variety of NDT techniques (see www.astm.org/Standards/E2339.htm).

Today, DICONDE is accepted in all NDT segments, such as aerospace, energy or automotive industries and is a prerequisite in projects and tenders.

Therefore we recommend looking for the following features when purchasing new test equipment and test management systems:

  • Does the system support the “DICONDE Modality Work List”?
    Using the work list function, test equipment can retrieve orders directly from the test management system. Thus there is no more need for manual or error-prone entries in the device and the test results can be assigned directly and unambiguously to the order.

  • Does the test equipment support the “DICONDE Store Service”?
    Using this service the generated image or test data can be stored in a DICONDE-conformant archive and/ or securely distributed at the location with suitable systems.

  • Does the test equipment or its evaluation system support the “DICONDE Presentation State Storage”?
    Using Presentation State Storage test images can be transmitted to all conformant viewing stations in the manner in which the image is to be presented. Presentation States contain e.g. information regarding annotations, highlighting, measurements and section enlargements. That is of interest inter alia for supplying important measurements with the test image in the network.

  • Ask your supplier for the “DICONDE Conformance Statement”.
    The conformance statement provides a summary of all DICONDE services supported by the system. That is very helpful if important DICONDE services are to be controlled in several interconnected systems.
    In networked environments there should always be one service provider (SCP – Service Class Provider) and the appropriate service user (SCU – Service Class User).

There are more DICONDE services, such as Query/Retrieve to query external image and test archives which can be used for the planned workflow. However, in the initial phase DICONDE Store and DICONDE Modality Work List are the most important services to make the workflow substantially more effective.

By the way, many NDT test devices or manufacturers have their origins in the medical technology sector and support DICOM with identically named services that only differ in the field description.

If for example your CR image plate system for RT tests provides DICOM services then these can be very easily integrated in the DICONDE network.

There are converters for many other data formats so that actually every enterprise can establish a vendor-neutral DICONDE test data archive.

We are pleased to advise you both in planning and implementation.

AAP-NDT GmbH

Carlo-Schmid-Allee 3
44263 Dortmund

Phone: +49 (0)231 39505825
Fax: +49 (0)231 39505827
E-Mail: info (at) aap-ndt.com
www.aap-ndt.com

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