Medical image data management has a lot to gain from cloud technology – here’s the why and how
- Before the pandemic, cloud technology was not widely used for medical image data
- The pandemic made healthcare professionals and executives realize that cloud technology is the future of medical imaging software and storage
- Careful planning is required prior to making your move to the cloud
- The planning should be chalked down after analyzing individual organizational requirements, so you have clear objectives about what you want to gain from your cloud solution
- Among all the prerequisites of implementing a successful medical image data strategy, choosing the right cloud services partner is of primary importance.
The pandemic, while having a considerable impact on many aspects of our lives, also fast-tracked the adoption of various technologies. Among these technologies, the cloud has only further proven its worth.
The application of cloud was often limited to research projects in healthcare organizations before the pandemic. Cloud use was almost negligible when it came to medical image data storage – and ironically, that was where it could be the most useful.
Covid-19 gave cloud implementation just the push it needed – resulting in improved medical image data management. Let’s look at the benefits cloud brings to the table and the best way to go about your cloud planning.
Cloud benefits for medical image storage
Cloud-based systems for dealing with medical image files are the best option for a multitude of reasons:
- Cost-effective: Cloud-based systems are considerably less expensive compared to on-premises PACS systems that can cost $5,000 to $100,000. The reason cloud systems are comparatively cheap is largely because they don’t require storage hardware or physical servers. When there is no on-premises hardware to deal with, it also allows reallocation of human resources to other tasks.
A cloud-based arrangement also means that you only pay for the storage or computing you use.
- Worldwide access: Choosing a cloud solution for storing medical image data gives you accessibility leverage. Any authorized person can view the medical images from anywhere in the world on their laptops, tablets, or phones.
- Better interoperability: Cloud solutions can support interoperability by connecting to each other using application program interfaces (API). APIs facilitate data exchange, which is often not possible between traditional PACS software originating from different vendors.
- Security: Cloud services have state-of-the-art encryption mechanisms in place that make data secure and breach-proof – and also HIPAA compliant.
- Scalability: If you are looking for on-demand scalability, the cloud has got you covered. Cloud platforms allow immediate scaling up according to your requirements.
- Availability of tools: Many cloud platforms also trying to make different tools available, such as data analytics and AI modeling, that can enhance their value.
Planning your cloud strategy
Thoughtful consideration has to be given before you go all-in with your cloud implementation goals. Assessing your present internal environment as an organization and gauging your individual requirements are essential to devising the best possible cloud strategy.
Here are some of the points you should consider:
- There have been instances where early adopters of cloud tech had to move back to their traditional medical image data management methods. Such examples happened mostly due to performance issues or unexpected costs, such as egress fees or data retrieval fees. To avoid these mistakes, you must understand your workflow, which will help you analyze your routine image access.
- You should be mindful of your connectivity speeds to the cloud. A slow network will make things worse for you instead of bringing any improvement. You should be aware of the connectivity options available to you in your geographical location and whether those options suffice at a cost that’s affordable to you.
- Testing the new cloud environment is one of the most crucial steps to ensure all your processes are working smoothly. To make your cloud testing successful, you have to ensure the participation of the internal stakeholders of your facility. All the concerned members of your organization should be ready for the new working environment. If there are any training requirements that need to be addressed, they should be taken care of to avoid any incompatibilities.
Choosing the right cloud partner
It is important that you research the imaging software vendor market thoroughly. Various vendors are following different approaches for cloud adoption in their offerings. Some are trying to put their focus on eliminating on-premises hardware, while others are converging more on tier 4 archiving in the cloud and disaster recovery options.
One of the most significant parts of acing your cloud strategy is to collaborate with the right vendor. One way of doing that is to do your own research and have in-depth conversations with your potential vendors. This way, you’ll be sure about what a particular vendor has to offer and can then decide whether it fits into your cloud requirements or not.
Store XR offers a cloud-based medical image data storage solution that is FDA and HIPAA compliant. Store XR was specifically made for medical image data storage. This storage solution is not built from open source or 3rd party products. Store XR is a cost-effective way to place all your medical imaging files in one place that can be accessed from anywhere.
Store XR also offers private tag assignment and storage segregation in every package option. This medical image data storage solution can meet your business needs and adapt to your budget. For further information about the solution, contact our team today.