X-Rays in DCM Format

Joe Gregorio

X-Ray of a severely sprained ankle.

Just a few days before leaving on our last vacation Austin fell at school and severely sprained his ankle. In the course of the doctor visits we ended up with a CD containing the X-Rays of his ankle. A little poking around on the CD turned up a whole heap of Windows specific executables and DLLs and a few likely suspects for the X-Ray images themselves. It turns out they are stored in DCM format, which is an extension that seems to have no associations under Ubuntu but could be opened by The Gimp nevertheless.

What was even more interesting was the metadata stored in the image, which was extensive and included the patients name, the address where the X-Rays were taken, the manufacturer of the X-Ray machine, the name of referring doctor, and much much more.

The DCM format is also understood by ImageMagick, which I used to convert the images into PNGs, and to view the metadata using 'identify -verbose'.

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