Healthcare digital transformation and IT modernization initiatives were slowly gathering steam prior to the COVID-19 pandemic but with the global health emergency have now taken on additional urgency. Government healthcare agencies find themselves facing pressure to transform patient care with modern technology and, in some cases, with additional resources and support to drive the required initiatives. In the US, Veterans Affairs is leading efforts to take advantage of technological innovation and an increasing number of Veterans Integrated Services Networks (VISNs) are implementing things like advanced imaging in order to improve the delivery of care and experience for their patients.
VISNs and other government healthcare providers are embracing advanced PACS (picture archiving and communications systems), offering digital modalities such as MRI, CT, and PET scans, that produce higher-resolution images which enhance the accuracy of clinical decisions and enable personalized care. As the number of these systems grows throughout hospital networks, and the number of images being produced increases, imaging data is growing at an increasingly rapid rate. This advanced imaging can also be delivered to other providers or even patients through secure apps. In some cases, VISNs are enabling veterans to upload their own photos and videos to add to their health records which can help doctors and clinicians customize care plans.
Legacy storage can’t keep up with advanced imaging
A modern file data platform–that supports file data workflows both on-premises and in the cloud–enables government healthcare agencies to implement the next generation of healthcare PACS / VNA imaging innovations. File data storage is the foundational element, and it simply doesn’t make sense to rely upon storage solutions from a decade or more ago for such a critical infrastructure component. Legacy storage systems are stretched beyond their limits and also cannot provide easy, secure access to cloud infrastructure or seamless integrations with other systems that might need to access these images.
VISNs, hospitals, clinics and others evaluating enterprise data storage solutions can leverage our guide to successful PACS / VNA deployments, which highlights next-generation medical imaging use cases, case studies, and includes a checklist for a robust and scalable storage architecture to support medical imaging in a modern government healthcare organization.
Addressing the data storage challenges of high-resolution medical imaging
Higher resolution imaging does not displace other modalities, so as hospitals move from 2D to 3D, and now 4D and 5D scanning, they both add new imaging systems and retain some of those they already have. The result is not only orders of magnitude increase in storage requirements from new modalities but also continued storage requirements from existing ones. And, of course, a flexible and scalable storage infrastructure that can easily accommodate everything and continue to grow.
The explosion of dense medical imaging increases the need for file data systems that scale to petabyte capacity without speed or performance degradation. Successful healthcare PACS and VNA deployments also increasingly require a file data platform that delivers a simple and seamless path to scalable storage in the cloud in order to support business continuity and disaster recovery requirements or simply to offload infrequently accessed studies.)
Healthcare providers need a next-generation file data storage architecture designed to manage the challenges of high-resolution medical imaging workflows, including:
- Massive storage needs that grow at an exponential rate
- Latency that prevents physicians from delivering real-time care
- Vendors moving to single-tier storage architecture
- Multiple workflows, new modalities, and 3D/4D creating more complexities
- Lack of institution-wide access with data silos across disparate systems
Qumulo’s File Data Platform increasingly recognized as the best solution
The market research firm DCIG recently awarded Qumulo a “Top 5” rating for Healthcare data storage and an increasing number of hospitals recognize the advantages from Qumulo’s fast, cost-effective, and secure medical imaging storage solution. VISNs are especially interested in managing and retaining massive data volumes generated by modern imaging systems – especially significant for government healthcare entities which have less patient turnover than other hospitals. And since Qumulo partners with all the leading PACS providers, healthcare organizations can leverage a complete and trusted enterprise imaging solution that consolidates storage while providing fast, reliable access. Qumulo Core, the modern storage architecture of our hybrid cloud file system, provides simple scalability and enterprise data management across on-premises data centers, as well as offering the option to leverage multiple cloud environments–as needed.