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Report Says Cross-PACS Archiving To Explode

May 21, 2012
Written by: , Filed in: Practice Management
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Those of us who were around back in the days when Microsoft was seen as the exciting upstart taking on plodding, monopolistic Apple can recall when most computers could share information only with computers of the same brand: Apple with Apple, Commodore with Commodore, Radio Shack with Radio Shack, and so on.

Yes, we can look back on those days—or we can just look at our contemporary picture archiving and communication systems, which also tend not to work well with others. Today’s move toward electronic health records has put the spotlight on vendor-neutral archives (VNA), which can collate, manage and store data from different PACS as well as other sources across a hospital or clinic.

According to a new report from InMedica, which does market research for the medical-device industry, of the 1.4 billion new radiology studies captured by PACS around the world in 2011, 75 million were stored by VNA. That’s 5.4 percent. By 2016, InMedica predicts, that percentage will increase to 31 percent.

VNA are storing non-imaging data as well as medical images. In fact, that’s one of the drivers behind the move to VNA, according to Theo Ahadome, a health-care information technology market analyst at InMedica:

Increasingly, the integration of non-image data to create a full enterprise strategy is being implemented. As this occurs and VNA storage volumes increase, they are projected to erode the share of storage volumes held by PACS.

Ahadome was quoted in an InMedica news release about the new study, which is titled The World Market for Medical Enterprise Data Storage—2012.

Before we get too excited about being able to access a patient’s prior images taken anywhere in the world, we should note that most VNA use, according to InMedica, is for sharing data within a single hospital or among multiple hospitals in the same chain. We’re still a long way from a World Wide Web of medical imaging.

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Wireless patient monitoring of vital signs (and maybe basic imaging)—from anywhere? The FCC may give a green light as early as this week. See our Facebook page for details.

Related seminar: Radiology Review

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