The technological evolution from film to digital in medical imaging precipitated the move from onsite storage to offsite, cloud storage. But not everyone is adopting a full-on cloud-based storage solution. Instead, many of those new to cloud-based storage are opting for a hybrid approach that includes onsite and offsite image storage.

For facilities where onsite storage solutions re already intact, the question becomes, “why not keep everything onsite?” There are several reasons why this is probably not going to be an option for most healthcare providers, the most important of which is that the sheer volume of data will flood what onsite servers can handle, if not now, then very near into the future. Various imaging technologies, such as 3D tomography, are pushing some file sizes to more than a gigabyte, so an exam that includes several such images would easily crowd an onsite server.

Another issue limiting an onsite-alone archiving solution is cost. The investment in infrastructure is probably more than most rural facilities can handle, not to mention the space limitations presented and the lack of qualified personnel to manage the software and maintain the infrastructure.

Why the Cloud Option Wins

While cost is going to be the main determining factor in many decisions being made in a healthcare facility, you also have to consider data access and disaster recovery and business continuity solutions, which aren’t as robust in an on-premise solution as they are in a cloud-based solution. In the cloud exists various tools that help protect against losing data and prolonged downtimes.

The cloud advantage is also tied to such things as image exchanges, which make accessing and sharing images easier, especially when traditional methods involve proprietary roadblocks that prevent unconstrained access. However, not all exchanges are created equal. In fact, some actually block information, which is why it is important to thoroughly vet your cloud-based imaging solution providers to ensure you’re partnering with one that offers the technology you need to improve your patient care.

Additional Value

Partnering with a cloud-based vendor of imaging solutions often comes with tools that can bring you additional value, such as machine intelligence, artificial intelligence and advanced visualization and analytics.

Furthermore, the right vendor can provide you with much more than just archiving solutions – they can provide you with browser agnostic viewer technology, which allows your radiologists to review images on any device that has a browser supporting HTML5. This means you will have the option to view images remotely, on the go. For on-call radiologists, this means they no longer have to refrain from making dinner reservations for fear that they’ll be rushed to the office viewer to analyze an image.

At OffSite Image Management, we offer browser agnostic viewing and much, much more. From cloud-based PACS to teleradiology and vendor neutral archiving, we’ve got solutions that will ease your workflow and help you transition into the cloud without regret. Contact us and we’ll walk you through our process.