X-Ray Film Scanners and Digitizers, X-Ray Film Scanning Services and Software

Medical Image Archiving

posted Feb-26-2015

Whether you arrived at digital medical images by scanning x-ray film or by using digital technology to capture the image, the question ultimately becomes how to archive all of the images that you have, how to view them, and how to safely transmit them to other healthcare providers.

4189447228_c439f1d72f_z_smallIn fact, medical image archiving is one of the big issues that every medical health It professional must deal with sooner or later.   This is especially true, since diagnostic imaging has been increasing, and the numbers of medical images being stored continues to expand.   In fact, a 2013 Wall Street Journal article quoted as many as 600 million imaging studies performed per year.

How do we store, account for, and access all of these images?

The storage of medical imaging files can be a significant and costly challenge, with the need to manage, cool and expand data centers and hire additional IT personnel.  Because of this, many health care organizations are turning to the Cloud for medical image storage

Another reason for turning to the cloud for medical imaging is the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  This Act set aside billions of dollars in federal funding for health IT, particularly Electronic Health Records (EHR) technology.   This push toward EHR has been driving the availability of more cloud-based health IT options over the past several years.

Increasingly, health-care providers are embracing cloud services, the model of shared computing in which data is stored on remote servers that hospitals can access via desktop, tablet or smartphone. Instead of big capital investments in their own storage, they are paying a relatively modest upfront charge and monthly usage fees for cloud services.

Some statistics show that about cloud-based storage for images is growing rapidly with as many as half of the country’s health systems using or planning to use cloud storage for medical imaging.

What Does All of this Mean? 

One benefit for patients is the availability of personal health records (PHR) that can be accessed from their own mobile devices.  Personal health records (PHR) can contain complete information regarding an individual’s medical history — such things as vaccination history, laboratory test results, allergies, medications, surgeries, family history and medical images.

In the past, this information was normally kept as paper documents and film records on file at the doctor’s office. If you were traveling or had a medical emergency, the record might be inaccessible. With the advent of PHR services, however, these files are available electronically, for both doctors and patients themselves.

Benefits for healthcare organizations include savings on the capital investments of hardware and software upgrades, as well as helping doctors make diagnoses faster, reducing the need for duplicate images and protecting patients from the extra radiation exposure of having another CT scan because an original can’t be found. Cloud-based storage systems also can let doctors call up historical images for comparison quickly and easily.

More Data – Bigger Files

Cloud medical image storage can address the rapidly growing need for a cost-effective way to maintain and access medical image archives.   With hundreds of millions of new imaging procedures performed each year, and the legal requirements to keep the images for at least seven years, the availability of cost effective efficient medical image storage is a must!  Additionally, as images become more complex, they take up more and more space.   All this means that image archives are increasing by as much as 40% annually.

Cloud medical storage services help control medical costs while allowing health-care providers to store, view and share patient medical images expeditiously over a secure network.  They can help doctors make diagnoses faster, reduce the need for duplicate images and protect patients from the extra radiation exposure of having another CT scan because an original can’t be found. Cloud-based storage systems also can let doctors call up historical images for comparison quickly and easily.

Moreover, some cloud image archiving solutions can even be integrated with an EMR.  Through an advanced API that follows all of the HL-7 Protocols, we bring real diagnostic quality Cloud DICOM PACS imaging into your software. A common workflow would be that a user sees the EHR software with thumbnails of a study or an X-ray; once the user clicks on the thumbnail, a web browser is instantly and automatically launched. The actual DICOM study/image appears – in a full legal diagnostic quality format.


Learn More About Cloud Solutions for Digital Medical Images