Cloud computing drives design of new image management platform

DR Systems, an independent provider of medical information management systems, debuted a new image management system based on cloud computing Monday afternoon at the 2009 RSNA conference.

DR Systems, an independent provider of medical information management systems, debuted a new image management system based on cloud computing Monday afternoon at the 2009 RSNA conference.

The Electronic Medical Information Exchange, better known as eMix, allows physicians, medical institutions, and patients and doctors outside the health system to securely share images and reports via the Internet.

"It's been kind of the Holy Grail of healthcare to make information available when needed," said Dr. Murray Reicher, a radiologist and DR Systems' chairman of the board. "The uploading of information is designed to be less expensive and more efficient than what is currently done today."

Cloud computing technology allows doctors and participating medical institutions to transfer information and associated patient images directly to their electronic medical records (EMRs) and their personal healthcare records (PHR). This real-time exchange of imaging data eliminates the need to burn CDs, print films, or fax reports and creates universal access to a more complete EMR.

Because eMix does not require special software or equipment installation, users can reduce operating expenses and avoid labor, material, and service costs that come with typical information sharing systems. EMix also provides revenue opportunities if a medical facility chooses to charge patients for eMix access.

With every new information system, questions of security arise. EMix's eight layers of security include physical, application, and encryption obstacles. Still, given recent security breaches in other medical information sharing systems, the company cannot insure against any possible future security malfunctions.

"No system is perfect," said Dr. Reicher, "But we think eMix is better, faster, cheaper, and more secure than the current system."