History of the Society


SIIM had its origins in 1980 with a small group of pioneers who could see that medical imaging was on the verge of undergoing a revolutionary change. The Radiology Information System Consortium (RISC) was formed in 1980 by a group of academic and private hospitals for the purpose of developing a RIS with a commercial partner and making it available to member institutions and others. In 1989, the Society for Computer Applications in Radiology was founded as an organization under the RISC banner. SCAR provided a structure to include individual members, and RISC’s biannual meeting on computer applications was transferred to SCAR in 1990. In 1996, RISC and SCAR were merged under the SCAR name to include individual, corporate, and institutional members.

Trusted Resource

The Society for Computer Applications in Radiology (SCAR) – now the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) – is a trusted resource for imaging professionals interested in the current and future use of technologies for image and information interpretation and management.

From its inception, SIIM has made a significant contribution to facilitating productive, open, and forward-thinking interactions between users and the industry. SIIM continues its success as a unique professional organization at the nexus of medical imaging and information technologies.

Vision for the Future

In 2005, SCAR celebrated its 25th anniversary with a new vision for the future. The Society’s new tagline – Innovating Imaging Informatics – emphasizes the organization’s commitment to lead the medical imaging community in the use and innovation of cutting-edge imaging technology.

In 2006, the Society changed its name to the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) to better reflect the broadened role of imaging across the medical enterprise. The Society decided to change its name to better describe the diversity of its constituency, to expand research and activities into the entire field of imaging informatics, to include all of the imaging sciences, and to embrace the dynamic changes in the healthcare environment.

Related Resources

RISC-SCAR-SIIM Annual Meetings


History of Digital Imaging in Medicine

In 2008, the SIIM History Committee interviewed Joseph N. Gitlin, DPH, FSIIM. Dr. Gitlin was an associate professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and served as Chairman of the Radiology Information Systems Consortium in 1994.

The SIIM History Committee presents an interview with Joseph N. Gitlin, DPH, FSIIM

YouTube video

For an edited transcript of the original history interview, click here.

Reading Room

The Reading Room project, funded by a 2008 SIIM grant, would not have been possible without the work of Joseph N. Gitlin, DPH, FSIIM, and his students: Tyler R. McClintock, Daisy Nie, Michelle Kirk, and Manuel Brockman; and the SIIM History Committee.

The following PDFs provide bibliographies of key resources:

Past Meetings

Since 1966, SIIM meetings have been the premier place for imaging and enterprise IT professionals to connect with peers, boost their careers, and learn from like-minded individuals. The inaugural meeting kicked off in the vibrant city of Chicago, Illinois and has been hosted by different states across the country ever since. Initially held every 2-4 years, they transitioned to yearly meetings in 1996. Today, SIIM proudly continues its tradition of annual in- person gatherings, ensuring that imaging professionals can learn, share knowledge, and build valuable networks.