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IHTSDO and the DICOM Standards Committee in March 2016 signed a SNOMED CT licensing agreement. This is the first agreement between the two organizations and it clarifies the use of SNOMED CT in DICOM standards and how the SNOMED CT should be managed over time.

The SNOMED CT Licensing Agreement covers the use of an agreed set of 7000 SNOMED CT codes and descriptions in DICOM standards. Other key points from the Agreement include:

  • The agreed SNOMED CT set will be updated after each 6 monthly  SNOMED CT international release, taking into account changes to SNOMED CT and any requests from the DICOM Standards Committee
  • The agreed SNOMED CT set is free for use by both DICOM and implementers globally
  • If implementers use additional SNOMED CT content (outside scope of the agreed set), they are subject to SNOMED CT licensing arrangements which may incur a fee in IHTSDO non-member countries
  • The SNOMED CT Licensing Agreement is for 5 years and on review can be renewed for a further 5 years.

The DICOM Standards Committee have been using SNOMED in their standards for many years (through an agreement with the College of American Pathologists) but usage is largely based on antecedent versions. The agreed set is based on SNOMED CT International Release which will aid existing implementers to migrate over time – IHTSDO/SNOMED International has not set a timeline on the migration for users of the standards since many of the codes are hardcoded in to software in the digital imaging systems, but will ensure with each update that content is based on current SNOMED CT content.

For more information, see the information sheets below.


SNOMED International
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SNOMED International is the trading name of the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation a private company limited by guarantee