For years, medical imaging systems have continually evolved—from the first instances of departmental PACS in the mid-1990s, through to today’s third-generation VNAs, which can provide a network-wide, data-rich longitudinal view of patient history and context; improve content visualization through an advanced universal viewer companion; and facilitate secure, seamless information exchange and patient indexing across the enterprise.
As the needs of healthcare enterprises continue to evolve, a new type of system is quickly gaining traction within the healthcare industry: the living medical archive.
So, what is a ‘living medical archive’?
These systems go beyond the offerings of typical third-generation VNAs, providing the same robust platform for storing all DICOM and non-DICOM data, but are enhanced with flexible, modular, customizable and dynamic capabilities. This provides a distinct advantage over typical VNAs in key areas.
In particular, living medical archives have a greater ability to scale than VNA, which resolves a major challenge for growing healthcare organizations. Given the increased demand for imaging services and the sheer file size of images from modalities like tomosynthesis, providers are dealing with massive volumes of data (sometimes in multiple repositories) that are continually growing. To further complicate matters, when they need to scale, it has to be done rapidly and in a cost-effective manner that also avoids service disruptions.
Living medical archives facilitate growth by leveraging state-of-the-art technology in ‘big data’ management. This includes leading-edge technologies such as Cassandra – a database management system developed by Facebook that scales to a very large size across multiple servers, with no single point of failure.
Systems like Cassandra are horizontally scalable, and operate using clustered architectures, which are comprised of individual nodes across which data is replicated, but not duplicated. This provides reliable business continuity and supports zero-downtime, migration-less growth and failover, while minimizing storage costs. Clusters can be configured within individual data centers, or spread across multiple locations to provide flexible options for disaster recovery, while optimizing utilization of enterprise-wide processing resources. Either way, with a living medical archive, growth never affects performance.
Interoperability, Enhanced Management of Enterprise Data and Cost-Effectiveness
To learn more about additional aspects of a living medical archive, including the interoperability and enhanced management of enterprise data that they provide in a cost-effective platform, download our free ebook 5 Ways to Bring Your VNA Strategy to Life with a Living Medical Archive.
If you’re attending HIMSS 2018 and would like to learn more about Intelerad’s living medical archive, CosmosOne, we will be located at booth 1451.