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Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) files are an international data standard for storing, distributing and processing medical images of all types. DICOM files include a header file containing Metadata on details which may include information on the patient. This often inhibits the free distribution of DICOM files due to issues relating to the confidentiality of data on identifiable living people, thereby limiting the potential for other radiologists to provide a diagnosis, for example, through distribution of the data over the Internet. This problem is a current limiting condition with regard to the development of Tele-medical imaging. Thus in this paper we consider a method of encrypting and embedding (or Stegacrypting) DICOM Metadata into the DICOM image, thereby providing a solution to a problem that currently inhibits the distribution of medical images using a file type that is an established international standard. The proposed method removes or ‘anonymises’ the private data, encrypt it and then embeds it into the DICOM image in an imperceptible way. The specific algorithm developed retains the private data attached to a DICOM image even when the image is converted into a standard image file format. Keywords — Coding and Encryption, Information Hiding, Medical
Blackledge, J., Al-Rawi, A.: Stegacrypion of DICOM Metadata. IET ISSC 2014, University of Limerick, Ireland, June 26-27, 2014.