Leading cloud vendors for medical
applications can offer an even greater
level of data protection and data privacy
than on site systems. Cloud vendors use
highly secured data centers and apply
strict security policies. Some on site systems are located in unsecure areas and
are unaudited, which makes them vulnerable to unauthorized access.
Evolution of Cloud Services Adoption
Archiving for disaster recovery and
business continuity was the first cloud
service adopted by healthcare facilities.
Now, the technology has progressed
and healthcare providers can also use
cloud-based PACS services to distribute, manage, and store imaging exams
and related data. Images can be easily
and securely transmitted on site or off
site for reading using a cloud portal.
This access is much different from a
standard Internet connection. With a
cloud portal, the database of medical
content and viewing tools are hosted in
a secure data center, which is then connected to the Internet using encryption
and other security features.
In the past, access to imaging studies and reports was limited to users at
workstations, but now some cloud services offer zero footprint, web-based
viewers. These viewers expedite access
and enhance convenience by supporting
use on mobile devices. The medical community has readily embraced the use of
mobile devices to share and view patient
information, test results, treatment recommendations, and other medical information by busy clinicians. Enabling mobile access to imaging exams and reports
is another important step in providing
physicians with timely access to essential patient information, which creates
greater clinician satisfaction.
Basics of Cloud-Based Imaging
Cloud services are delivered from a ser-
vice infrastructure, which includes a data
Figure 1 • Cloud-Based Workflow
center that is continuously monitored,
updated, upgraded, repaired, and replaced when necessary in order to provide highest levels of service. See Figure 1
for a cloud-based workflow.
The service infrastructure is built on
the following components:
• A highly secure data center provides
power supply redundancy, secure
access, and protection from fires,
floods, and other natural disasters.
It is connected to healthcare facili-
ties through a high speed Internet
connection, and acts as a central re-
pository and long term archive. Two
copies of data are created automati-
cally. The retention period for data
is configurable and depends on the
terms of the agreement.