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The global healthcare landscape is undergoing fundamental change as insurers and providers adapt to new requirements for sharing electronic medical records.
The advent of imaging technologies in medicine has been beneficial to both physicians and patients, but also created new IT challenges. In particular, the shift from analog to digital images has resulted in exponential growth in the amount of data that must be stored.Healthcare providers also have discovered they may be locked in to existing vendors because digital imaging systems use proprietary data “tags.” This limits their ability to incorporate new technologies from other vendors and compounds their long-term data archiving challenges.
The trend toward the use of EMR to facilitate the sharing of information is a global one, with a number of countries looking to require increased availability of medical data to several audiences. This requires standardized access and data formats, something that cloud solutions are well suited to provide.Moving medical imaging data to the cloud mitigates or removes the issue of long-term viability for specific data formats. In fact, by removing the proprietary limits on data structure and storage, healthcare providers will be able to bring in new technologies without having to be concerned about integration of systems from different vendors. Embracing cloud solutions also provides opportunities for cost savings as providers limit investment in proprietary-only data structures.
Cloud solutions, designed to provide “buy what you use” answers for cost-conscious organizations, can lower the expense of archiving and retrieving vast amounts of information. At the same time, putting the data into a standard format and ending the use of proprietary structures will allow the import and export of data among multiple sources, independent of the technology or system used to generate the data.
September 1, 2011
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