Not Just Notes: Using the Cloud for Medical Imaging

EdwardKeiperCommonly Ordered Medical Images Shared Across Platforms

By Edward Keiper, President and CEO of Velocity

While we think of patient records as a collection of notes and test results, medical imaging plays a major part in the patient care narrative. More and more medical data is being stored and accessed with every passing day, and a sizeable portion of these files is comprised of images.

There are approximately 400 million medical procedures in the U.S. annually, and those events generally necessitate one or more commonly ordered medical images such as CT, MRI, X-ray and ultrasound.

Increasingly, these images are being shared across platforms. Physicians have been quick to adopt mobile devices, first for personal use, but increasingly they are adopting smartphones and tablets in the workplace, as these devices allow them to access the entire range of patient data sets in near real-time.

It makes sense. A tablet fits easily in the pocket of a white lab coat and can go anywhere the health care practitioner goes. What could be more efficient than having the entire health history of a patient in hand? Anywhere, anytime access to records cuts costs and time dramatically.

Of course, health records must also be secure. The challenge is finding a place to store all this mounting data. Images are large and take up a lot of space on a server. If a medical practice relies on its own internal servers, the hard drives will get filled up before too long.

That’s a compelling argument for cloud adoption. HIPAA regulations concerning the transition to electronic health records require the highest levels of security in offsite data storage. While every cloud provider offers firewalled protection, it’s worthwhile to seek out a partner who is already experienced in the specific task of storing and processing medical data.

People charged with finding the right solution for their medical practice should look for a user-friendly and intuitive interface that offers a configurable environment to maintain all information in a secure setting. Resolving another challenge, keeping unauthorized users out, is a top line priority.

If your practice is like most, and medical images are an essential element of the diagnostic procedure, consider cloud adoption to promote immediate access in a secure environment.

This article was originally published in the Velocity blog and is republished here with permission.