Why is it called PS3

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tomas moberg

Oct 27, 2021, 7:29:02 AM10/27/21
I know it is THE NEMA dicom standard #3.
But what does P and S stand for? Short for Pxxxx Standard?

Kind regards

Markus Sabin

Oct 27, 2021, 8:37:53 AM10/27/21
For historic reasons, "PS" means "Printed Standard" - though probably no one would print it today.

David Clunie

Oct 30, 2021, 10:13:32 AM10/30/21
On Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 7:29:02 AM UTC-4, tomas moberg wrote:
> But what does P and S stand for? Short for Pxxxx Standard?

This may or may not be an abbreviation for "(MED-)PACS Section", as it was known before it was renamed "Medical Imaging Informatics" (MII) Section.

The original ACR-NEMA standard was ACR-NEMA 300-1985 [1], then there was ACR-NEMA 300-1988 [2], also referred to as "Version 2.0" [3][6]. I don't know what the "300" designated at the time.

The first two "PS" standards were the tape standard (PS1) [4] and the compression standard (PS2) [5].

I am not sure how much of a coincidence it was that what is now called "DICOM" was both "Version 3.0" of ACR-NEMA 300 (as explicitly described in the History part of the Introduction on PS3.1-1992 [6]), as well as the third to emerge from the (MED-)PACS Section and hence "PS3".

FYI, if you look at the other NEMA standards [7], you will see that many of them are named according to two or three letter sections, which may or may not be related to the so-called product scopes [8].


1. ftp://medical.nema.org//MEDICAL/Dicom/1985/ACR-NEMA_300-1985.pdf
2. ftp://medical.nema.org//MEDICAL/Dicom/1988/ACR-NEMA_300-1988.pdf
3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.968797
4. ftp://medical.nema.org//MEDICAL/Dicom/1991/PS1_1991.pdf
5. ftp://medical.nema.org//MEDICAL/Dicom/1989/PS2_1989.pdf
6. ftp://medical.nema.org//MEDICAL/Dicom/1992-1995/PS3.1_1992.pdf
7. http://www.nema.org/standards/all-standards?showAll=true&pageno=0&publicationType=Standard&status=All&byTitle=False
8. http://www.nema.org/docs/default-source/about-us-document-library/nema-product-scopes.pdf
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