Radiology Imaging Roundup: Getting Digital with VNA Research

2016-02-11
 

Radiology imaging, content roundupWhen was the last time you watched a movie on DVD instead of streaming? Or listened to music on CD? Or, for that matter, used a 3.5” floppy disk to transfer files?

In our private lives, physical media is all but obsolete. Cloud-based services make all our data available anywhere with an internet connection.

But the medical community has lagged behind the cloud revolution. It made sense to be cautious in the early days: Sensitive medical data has to be stored with more care than, say, your old Dave Matthews Band CDs. Now that cloud storage meets the industry’s stability and security requirements, medical providers are beginning to join the post-media age.

Vendor neutral archives (VNA) enable medical professionals to store patient data in the cloud while still maintaining ownership of the data. The increased storage space and wider accessibility of a VNA is especially useful for large files from radiology imaging.

The following five articles examine VNAs’ role in a modern medical organization. Read on to learn what’s happening now and what’s next.

1. Trends in Medical Imaging Technology

In Peer60’s newest report, they surveyed providers from 15% of imaging departments across the country, including radiology executives, PACS administrators and IT managers. The purpose of the study was to determine what new imaging technologies these providers found most exciting.

The study indicated that 16% of these medical imaging professionals plan to purchase vendor neutral archives, and 26% are most excited about cloud-based image sharing.

2. Vendor neutral archives will coexist with PACS 3.0

Picture archive communications systems (PACS) are something of a predecessor to VNA, collecting data but still storing it on-site. In this video and article from RSNA 2015, medical imaging expert Michael Gray explores how PACS 3.0 will work together with VNA to form a comprehensive solution.

According to Gray, advanced image visualization will combine with VNA and workflow-worklist applications to create PACS 3.0. With true vendor neutral archives as its base, PACS 3.0 will make sure providers can “take ownership of their data instead of asking vendors for it.”

3. Providers leery of cloud, but not vendor neutral archives

In the second part of his video interview, Michael Gray discusses the lingering uncertainties about cloud storage versus onsite solutions. One possible compromise is the use of hybrid image cloud storing systems, which store images onsite, but with backups in the cloud. Despite the remaining doubts, enterprise health organizations are increasingly adopting VNAs tied to patient EHRs.

Gray also identifies a trend for using mobile device cameras to produce diagnostic imaging, and discusses including these images in VNAs.

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