Standardization of neurophysiology signal data into the DICOM® standard

Jonathan J. Halford, David A. Clunie, Benjamin H. Brinkmann, Dagmar Krefting, Jan Rémi, Felix Rosenow, Aatif Husain, Franz Fürbass, J. Andrew Ehrenberg, Silvia Winkler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A standard format for neurophysiology data is urgently needed to improve clinical care and promote research data exchange. Previous neurophysiology format standardization projects have provided valuable insights into how to accomplish the project. In medical imaging, the Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine (DICOM) standard is widely adopted. DICOM offers a unique environment to accomplish neurophysiology format standardization because neurophysiology data can be easily integrated with existing DICOM-supported elements such as video, ECG, and images and also because it provides easy integration into hospital Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) long-term storage systems. Through the support of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology (IFCN) and partners in industry, DICOM Working Group 32 (WG-32) has created an initial set of standards for routine electroencephalography (EEG), polysomnography (PSG), electromyography (EMG), and electrooculography (EOG). Longer and more complex neurophysiology data types such as high-definition EEG, long-term monitoring EEG, intracranial EEG, magnetoencephalography, advanced EMG, and evoked potentials will be added later. In order to provide for efficient data compression, a DICOM neurophysiology codec design competition will be held by the IFCN and this is currently being planned. We look forward to a future when a common DICOM neurophysiology data format makes data sharing and storage much simpler and more efficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)993-997
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Electroencephalogram
  • Electromyogram
  • Electrooculogram
  • Polysomnogram
  • Standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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