Records 1Cloud-based solutions have hit just about every industry. Picture archiving and communication systems have not been left out. More healthcare providers are using diagnostic imaging to enhance their service to patients, and adopting scalable solutions through cloud PACS have been an increasingly popular method of sharing and storing images.

The top medical facilities in the land are now relying on cloud PACS to store their medical images and data, which means that any criticism against cloud PACS being a relevant solution of the future has been proven completely wrong.

The growth of cloud PACS coincides with the increased use of digital imaging in the healthcare environment. In fact, more healthcare facilities are building new policies around cloud-related technology as it concerns radiology. Information is the key to treatment, and medical facilities are in no short supply of it these days; by some accounts, medical imaging data has tripled in size on an annual basis over the last couple of years, and that trend doesn’t seem to be falling away.

Cloud PACS are not only invaluable to medical facilities; it’s a burgeoning industry with around an estimated $60-plus million value. It’s projected to grow by around 25 percent every year through 2018. Nearly 40 percent of medical data will be related to radiology and medical imaging within the next couple of years, which is a near double digit growth since 2010.

Sharing medical images has been complicated for the medical community as they build databases that can be shared across departments, but with cloud PACS that use vendor-neutral portals, the challenges are all but erased. Many organizations look at cloud PACS as a way to simplify what was once a major hurdle to jump – sharing across healthcare organizations.

Going to the cloud is not only making sharing easier, it’s making the task cheaper. Healthcare organizations operating under less share-friendly procedures often have to pay for software licensing fees on a yearly basis, which gets expensive. There are also maintenance costs to consider, hardware failures and large chunks of time dedicated by IT staff to process work orders on technical issues.

Compliance is a major component of any healthcare operation. Sharing medical imaging through more archaic methods offered a slew of compliance risks. But sharing in the cloud offers added layers of security that simply aren’t possible when data is shared over snail mail through CDs that take time and money to reproduce. And the cloud method is much less time consuming, offering medical professionals quick diagnoses and treatment recommendations.

There are cloud options available: public, private or a mixture of both. Generally, a healthcare facility will go with the option that best suits its compliance/privacy policy. In most cases where public clouds are used, the data is of a low-sensitivity nature. In the situation where a public/private scenario is used, nearly three-quarters of the data is sensitive and only migrated using the private portion of the cloud. But in departments where sensitivity and privacy are at their highest level, a private cloud will be established.

OffSite Image Management Inc., offers vendor neutral archiving solutions that seamlessly integrate with other applications, which means practices that are looking to create a cloud PAC are finding what they need in OffSite.