Today,I have added an ondemand medical Image management, a cloud based service to myCloud Solutions portfolio.
While there is a global context for a solution like this,Particularly in India where there is a proliferation and explosion of medical imaging. With a huge middle income population,The healthcare sector here needs affordable solutions to archive, access ,exchange and collaborate on medical images between physicians anytime in a location agnostic manner ,irrespective of where they were created.
Mostly ,In India and perhaps in other countries,scanned images are sent manually or by land mail as DVDs.Sometimes,images are sent over slow FTP connections that takes significant time and streamlining at send/receive ends . These methods are quite disconnected also.A Cloud based Image exchange could help resolve such issues and streamline to provide physicians with 24 * 7* 365 access to medical imaging studies,easily accessible through Internet.
Secondly,A number of small and medium size hospitals and imaging centers mostly having CT or MRI modalities are constrained to have their own internal PACS infrastructure in-terms of the costs and IT resources needed to run and maintain it. An on-demand cloud based medical imaging exchange solution could help obviate such needs and can provide a model for such entities to connect their modalities and rent such services without the need to invest upfront on the PACS infrastructure and then the resources to run and maintain the PACS related IT operations.
Essentially,the Cloud based solution is a PACS ondemand facilitating a DICOM imaging exchange between Hospitals/Imaging centers and Physicians. The Picture below depicts a basic Solution and this sample is demonstrated in the video below.
- A Scalable Cloud Image exchange service is run. It is available on-demand and can connect with multiple medical Image producers (Hospitals or Physicians) and Image consumers (Physicians). They can be located anywhere.
- From Hospital 1 (APO-Hospital::Source),medical images are sent to Physician1 for studies in a secure manner.
- Physician1 connects to the Cloud service through the Internet to receive and access the images for studies and reporting.
- From Hospital-2(Life-Care::Source),medical images are sent to Physician 2 for studies
- Physician2 connects to the Cloud to receive and access the images for studies and reporting.
In this scenario,The medical images can be optionally stored and managed securely in a scalable cloud storage for later studies or for disaster recovery. This scenario also applies well to large healthcare institutions having multiple imaging and medical centers spread out across the geographical locations.
The Cloud based Dicom Image exchange service,I have basically demonstrated could provide immense benefits to healthcare institutions and physicians from a cost and productivity perspective based on an on-demand rental or pay per use model. More importantly,It can help significantly improve the quality of patient care.
Business Advantages to Healthcare/Imaging entities
- No Upfront investments for a PACS infrastructure
- Low resources and Overheads for operations
- Get started quickly
- Augment quickly (in-case of multiple entities in a group)
- Better TCO and ROI for Image based operations
The cloud based image grid service can be run in a Load-balanced and HA Architecture configuration to provide significant scalability combined with enabling a new level of business continuity.
The solution can be enabled and provisioned on Various Cloud services across the World. Architecture may differ based on the Cloud . One of the important things to consider for this service to work well is the network speed/performance and latency both for at the image producer and consumer points,but more importantly for senders . For instance, provisioning a Image exchange service for India from a Cloud service in the US or Europe,may not work optimally. It needs to be deployed within regions of close proximity.
I had tested the reference solution on Tata InstaCompute ,Rackspace and CloudSigma services. I found InstaCompute to be a better service for India and Asia-Pacific regions based on its techno,economic and deployment factors. Its service is better in certain ways when compared to other vendors.
Healthcare or private entities interested in setting up/enabling a Cloud based service model for their ImageManagement may contact me.
Note : The illustration and the video provided is just a sample demonstration and the names mentioned in them are fictitious.