Cloud Computing Creates Climate Change in Teleradiology

May 27, 2011

How teleradiology is leveraging the cloud computing trend -- and doing it differently than non-healthcare companies

Cloud computing continues to change the business landscape. With the ability to store and share data without large capital expenditures, organizations in several industries are operating more efficiently through a platform that offers better scalability, quicker deployment, and more flexibility. In the healthcare industry, the ability to work with large volumes of data with greater ease provides benefits that stretch far beyond the advantages associated with better scalability, greater reliability, and deeper cost savings-it makes a difference in patient care.

In the public domain, industry giants such as Google and Microsoft are offering cloud-based solutions that make it easy for organizations to manage data without making  investments to support the confluence of new information. By leveraging the benefits associated with cloud computing, businesses around the world are creating a healthier bottom line. The problem for the healthcare industry, however, is that services offered through a public cloud system fail to meet HIPPA guidelines. As a result, healthcare providers must look for alternatives to use technology that’s changing the business climate-all while keeping patient information safe, secure, and private.

For teleradiology providers, therefore, the most effective cloud solutions are built on a private platform. The private system allows a single source to control health care records and use encryption algorithms to protect patient information during transmission. With the appropriate security parameters in place, a cloud-based solution provides a wide range of benefits that are uniquely suited for the teleradiology industry.

Since teleradiology companies work with large images such as CT scans and X-Rays, the ability to store and share images on a cloud-based system is essential for maximizing efficiencies. This becomes particularly useful as new medical devices are introduced to the market with the capability of generating more complex imagery with larger file sizes. With a more effective platform through which to store and share data, teleradiology companies are discovering a series of benefits that clearly demonstrate the value of adopting a cloud-based solution for enhancing patient care. By using cloud technology, patients can:   

• Store exams in a centralized location
• Share exams with healthcare providers
• Connect with community of radiologists for second opinions

The easier it becomes to manage information, the easier it becomes to make the right decisions that impact one’s health. On the hospital side, employees are able to leverage the same platform to provide better care while lowering overall costs. With this technology, physicians can:

• Share exams with other healthcare facilities
• Distribute radiology records to patients digitally
• View patient images and reports prior to a patient’s appointment
• Request second opinions from radiologists in a specific network

Currently, many hospitals use CD-ROMs to transfer images from different facilities. With a cloud-based solution, however, hospitals can share images with different locations digitally. The beauty of using a cloud-based system for teleradiology is that it allows users to store, share, and connect more easily than ever before-and with bigger benefits. Whether it’s the added efficiencies on the provider side or the added control on the patient side, cloud computing is no longer a luxury for optimal health-it’s a prerequisite. With seemingly endless opportunities, more teleradiology companies are warming to the idea of leveraging cloud computing on a larger scale-and it’s changing the climate in the healthcare industry with a forecast that predicts greater efficiencies, more savings, and better patient care.

 

Joe Moock is a managing partner at StatRad, a premier provider of teleradiology solutions. Headquartered in San Diego, StatRad’s U.S.-trained, board-certified radiologists and staff deliver interpretations and reliable programs that increase efficiency and improve patient care. Their services allow hospitals and health care groups to save money, supplement staffing, satisfy hospital clients, and maintain control. For more information, visit www.StatRad.com