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Providers leery of cloud, but not vendor neutral archives

This is the second video in a two-part series from RSNA 2015 featuring medical imaging expert Michael Gray. In part one, Gray talked with SearchHealthIT about vendor neutral archives working with picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) and PACS 3.0, a next-generation imaging system concept with which he is associated.

CHICAGO -- In the modern healthcare provider's enterprise imaging workflow, EHRs work with vendor neutral archives to provide basic patient identifying information.

At the same time, while larger health systems are increasingly adopting vendor neutral archives and tying them to EHRs, PACS and mobile medical imaging devices, many are still leery of the cloud.

Independent medical imaging consultant Michael Gray made these points in this video from RSNA 2015, the 101st Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

Some bigger providers are using or weighing the advantages of hybrid image cloud storage systems, in which primary copies of images are kept onsite at providers' physical locations, with backups stored in third-party clouds, Gray said.

However, while Gray acknowledged the debate over cloud and PHI is politically charged at times, "the whole idea of putting patient information somewhere else is concerning" to many hospitals that can afford sophisticated vendor neutral archives.

Even though cloud vendors in the healthcare market such as Amazon Web Services, Dell and others insist cloud storage is private and secure, "there's this nervousness" among many providers, Gray told SearchHealthIT in the video.

Meanwhile, radiologists and other physicians are increasingly using smartphone and tablet cameras to produce diagnosis-grade images.

Now providers are looking to put all kinds of images, from not only a multiplicity of medical specialties, but also from widely popular sources such as mobile devices, into vendor neutral archives, Gray said.

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Where the vendor neutral archive stands in medical imaging

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