BridgeHead Software is launching its new PACStore archiving product to help healthcare organizations reduce the accelerating storage hardware and management burden imposed by the long term retention and protection of PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications Systems) medical image data.
The new product also effectively unifies PACS data by enabling clinicians to search across stored medical images from different proprietary PACS systems using a search facility based on the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) standard used by most PACS vendors.
“With PACS image studies getting bigger and more sophisticated, there’s mounting pressure on the resources required to store and protect the underlying data. Our PACStore software brings relief by making sure storage resources are used in the most optimal way,” said Charles Mallio, Director of Business Development - Healthcare Sector, for BridgeHead Software which is a specialist in enterprise data backup and archiving. BridgeHead’s Enterprise Data Backup system is already in common use in over 350 hospitals, some of which are already amongst the early adopters of PACStore.
“For healthcare organizations who rely on a number of imaging systems from different suppliers, our unified DICOM search facility also means they can search medical images independently of the system that produced them. And by keeping stored images accessible, it also reduces the risk when migrating from one PACS system to another and provides a separate access route to the data in the event of a short term operational disaster affecting their PACS systems,” continued Mallio.
PACStore cuts storage costs as it automatically moves data onto the appropriate storage media based on how available it needs to be. The most current, active PACS image data stays on the most highly available primary storage, while static data, which is viewed less frequently, is moved to alternative, lower cost media in line with compliance and protection requirements.
By reducing the overall volume of data on the primary store, PACStore streamlines backup and replication processes, cutting the overall resources they require. The static image data which is moved into the PACStore archive does not require frequent backups because it is copied to multiple media at multiple locations.
Healthcare regulations such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) which specify how PACS data needs to be managed and protected are addressed because PACStore supports the use of WORM media, encryption, authentication and crypto–shredding technologies.
With PACStore’s DICOM based search facility data is placed within the archive according to the image files’ unique attributes and indexed using the patient specific DICOM header information contained within each image. As DICOM information is common across many PACS vendors this enables patient and study specific searches to be performed across the entire archive, spanning PACS systems.
“Some PACS technology vendors supply in-built archiving technologies to help archive PACS data. These aren’t necessarily the most efficient option because they create separate silos of storage specifically reserved for PACS. With PACStore you can use whatever storage platform, from whatever vendor. We don’t lock you in. And you can also share storage resources with your other operational data for most efficient overall use of storage,” said Mallio.
BridgeHead is keen to dispel the view that archiving makes data difficult to access as Mallio explains: “The system ensures that data placed in the archive can still be viewed through your PACS software in the usual manner. The end user experience is seamless; clinicians need not even realize that data is stored within the archive. All they know is they get the data they need when they need it. And IT knows the data is effectively and efficiently managed.”
Viewing archived PACS studies is made easier by PACStore’s predictive recall facility. When a clinician calls up a single PACS study, predictive recall automatically identifies and calls up other related studies to make them immediately available should they be required.
Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) is a standard for handling, storing, printing, and transmitting information in medical imaging. It includes a file format definition and a network communications protocol. The communication protocol is an application protocol that uses TCP/IP to communicate between systems. DICOM files can be exchanged between two entities that are capable of receiving image and patient data in DICOM format.
About BridgeHead Software
Established in 1994, BridgeHead Software (bridgeheadsoftware.com) is focused on developing Enterprise Data Management (EDM) software to enhance the ways in which organizations manage their data and storage infrastructures. Enterprise Data Management is where backup and archive come together in one integrated solution to optimize the backup process, reduce storage costs, improve data access and fully protect the data. A key part of the BridgeHead Software philosophy, is remaining storage and vendor agnostic, enabling it to tie into customers’ current and future mix of storage platforms. By the same token it recognizes that software solutions have to integrate with and maximize the underlying storage, workflow and business processes that surround customers’ information. To address this, BridgeHead Software has developed strong relationships with key storage and application technology vendors, as well as, leading systems integrators and providers of value added services, enabling it to deliver fully integrated solutions. Alongside its products BridgeHead Software provides support, training, and consulting services to its established worldwide customer base and growing international channel network. Sales, marketing and technical support operations are extended through its offices in USA, UK and Germany.