"Vets need to break-up with DropBox, USB sticks, and CDs"
If you’re a vet, you’ve probably had to share a medical image with someone. Whether you need a second opinion, or you want to share with an animal owner. You've used either file sharing services or burned a CD. These solutions are expensive, slow, clunky, disorganized, manual, and prone to error. I know what you’re thinking… “anything more would be too expensive.”
Medical imaging technology traditionally has been an expensive capital investment for a typical veterinarian. It’s not surprising that vets are continually seeking ways to lower their imaging costs. These methods are great but there is a better answer…
The Horos viewer is part of the solution. Horos is cost-effective ($0.00), operating on a standard Macintosh workstation or laptop. It's a professional, full-featured, DICOM medical imaging software. Horos’ features and capabilities compare with imaging software costing thousands of dollars per year. Hundreds of veterinarians have already chosen Horos and comment on its power and functionality.
Purview, the lead sponsor of the Horos Project, has built a cloud-based PACS integrated with Horos. Cloud-based PACS offer many advantages over traditional on-site storage.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard the term Cloud Computing. And if you’re like many others, you don’t understand exactly what that means or how you can use it.
Most think that the Cloud is just for storage. But it’s actually a combination of computing resources located at another location. The implications and benefits of separating physical location from computing power are vast.
How the Cloud Helps Vets
Cloud = Enablement
Medical images stored in the cloud can be accessed from anywhere, shared with specialists or animal owners, and easily and instantaneously available for second opinions.
Cloud-available data can be accessed from anywhere there is cell service or an Internet connection, on virtually any device, at any time. By separating data dependency from physical computing, access to important information improves. This enables geographically dispersed specialists to collaborate on an individual patient.
Images are instantaneously available at the point of patient treatment. Whether that is a clinic, operating room, vet office, or even in the field, flexible access is useful for treatment of larger animals.
An additional advantage of cloud-based studies is that they can be combined and accessed right from within an animal’s medical record. Rather than having to review each separately, the now complete medical record becomes a more powerful diagnostic tool.
Cloud = Cost Savings
Cloud users get charged only for the computing they consume. This means that rather than incur a large up front capital expenditure, they pay for the computing they use, as it is consumed. By converting a capital expenditure to an operating expense, veterinarian cash flows improve. Expenses more closely align with patient revenue, making these costs more digestible.
Cloud providers shoulder the computing equipment maintenance burden, a nuisance not the preference of a typical vet. Also gone is the risk of technical obsolescence and the cost or replacing outdated technology.
Cloud = Flexibility
Cloud data is accessed simply via a web browser or downloadable mobile app. No proprietary computing equipment is required to access it. The cloud obviates the issues associated with incompatible computing systems. For medical images, this means that they can be viewed on any computer, pad, or smartphone.
Cloud = Security
Sensitive or confidential data stored in a cloud environment resides in an encrypted state making an access breach more difficult. And since no data is transferred to or resides on the end-computing device, there is less risk of an outsider physically accessing this data.
Cloud = Peace of Mind
When cloud systems are substituted for physical computing systems, they become less susceptible to disasters, whether natural or man-induced. Everyone has had the experience of losing important information due to an operator mistake or a technical failure. Cloud computing systems are typically more resilient - duplicated in multiple facilities separated by hundreds of miles, served by different electrical and communication grids, on different tectonic plates and in separate microclimates. A disaster at one location will not interfere with operations or mirrored storage in the second. Even if your local computing equipment becomes disabled, you still have access to your studies in the cloud.
While a Horos workstation is quite functional, it is not intended to be the ultimate storage device for medical images. Warehousing images on a workstation will ultimately degrade its performance. It also creates a single point of failure. Storage of important studies in a proper PACS system is always recommended.
If cloud isn't a part of your specialty vet practice today, you certainly should consider the benefits you are missing. While the cloud may still feel nebulous to some, it is an important step forward in the progression of medical information. With the cloud enabling added flexibility, accessibility and peace of mind, it is inevitable that progressive veterinary organizations should consider that alternative.
For more information about a tightly integrated Horos Cloud-PACS solution click below: