Medical Image Storage: Dell, Siemens Collaborate on Cloud Solution

As the volume of medical data explodes, Dell and Siemens look to provide the health care industry with extra storage space in the cloud.

Dell and Siemens are coming together to provide a massive amount of cloud storage space for medical images.

The companies will create the Siemens Image Sharing and Archiving (ISA) service, which will provide a cloud platform for vendor-neutral image archiving and sharing. ISA will incorporate Dell's Unified Clinical Archive. The Dell archive will also provide redundant archiving support for the Siemens Healthcare Cloud Computing Center.

Dell and Siemens will formally announce the agreement at the HIMSS12 health care IT conference in Las Vegas, which began Feb. 20.

"With Siemens, they'll have a first copy in their data center; the other copy will be in our Dell Unified Clinical Archive," Dr. Jamie Coffin, vice president and general manager for Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences, told CIO Insight sister publication eWEEK.

The Unified Clinical Archive stores images from Computed Axial Tomography (CAT) scans, electrocardiograms (EKGs) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests.

Siemens' ISA will allow radiologists to store medical images as well as other types of medical data.

In addition, it could help imaging departments lower the cost of maintaining imaging archives, said Kurt Reiff, vice president of business management for SYNGO Americas at Siemens Healthcare. Siemens makes picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) as well as CT and MR scanners.

ISA will allow radiologists and cardiologists to access and view medical data similar to how consumers log in to a portal like Google for their personal information, Reiff told eWEEK.

Community hospitals are particularly looking for the IT infrastructure and storage help, said Reiff.

"One of the biggest challenges in health care right now is we have lots of customers that have petabyte image databases," added Coffin. "Every time they change systems, they have to have to migrate this data it's a hugely expensive proposition for them. We want to be able to get data on a system one time and never have to migrate the data no matter what the system is," said Coffin.

Storage for medical images runs $10,000 a terabyte, he noted.

"We take this all off their plate, the huge cost of maintaining systems," said Coffin. "Images go into the Siemens-Dell archive, and they never have to manage this problem again."

This article was originally published on 02-21-2012
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