[Does the digital signature of the DICOM standard meet the requirements of German law?]

Radiologe. 2003 Aug;43(8):665-70. doi: 10.1007/s00117-003-0922-7.
[Article in German]


The DICOM standard offers the possibilities to generate electronic signatures, valid according to German laws. This enhances the reliability of the correlation between image and patient data. However, only so called qualified electronic signatures--conveniently issued by an accredited supplier--are permissible and not rejectable as evidence in German jurisdiction and are completely equivalent to the handwritten signatures. These qualified electronic signatures can be executed only by individuals, whereas the former are not applicable to technical apparatus like image generating modalities. In consequence, a modality is able to provide its pictures with a "common or advanced signature" solely. This limits the use of the digital signature of the DICOM standard for further applications, e.g. the verifiability within the teleradiology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Computer Communication Networks / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Computer Security
  • Diagnostic Imaging / standards
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / standards
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Radiology Information Systems / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Radiology Information Systems / standards
  • Teleradiology / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Teleradiology / standards