By Anna Siembor, Editorial Assistant
Medical image archiving costs are quickly becoming a huge expense in the health care industry — so much so, according to the Symantec Health white paper Medical Image Archiving: Reducing the Cost and Complexity, that health care IT executives cite soaring image archive costs as one of their most significant challenges.
There’s no one cause to this pressing issue. Use of advanced imaging has nearly tripled in the last decade; this creates a greater volume of data to be stored. On top of that, energy and storage operating costs have increased significantly. This has caused some hospitals to cut back on disaster recovery, so much so that they fail to maintain a second image archive.
Existing data center storage options simply aren’t working. They’re expensive, consume tons of space and require support personnel. But, what’s an ailing health care organization to do? Symantec Corp. proposes an alternative storage solution — cloud-based archiving.
The vendor suggests that its cloud-based archiving offering presents a number of benefits over the traditional image archiving systems that health care organizations use — namely, dedicated support personnel and a secondary data center located more than 700 miles from the primary data center, which means it’s unlikely for both to be hit by the same natural disaster. This, in turn, helps organizations reduce a variety of image archiving costs, the vendor said, including salaries, backup hardware, software upgrades and utility bills.
For cloud-based archiving to work in health care, Symantec and other vendors must convince providers that patient data will remain readily available to those who need it and totally inaccessible to those who do not. Only then will it be viewed as a viable alternative to more traditional medical image archiving technology.