IBM Announces New Offerings For Managing Medical Images

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IBM today unveiled a new medical imaging workstation and storage networking solutions designed to make it easier for clinical staffs within hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities to share, manage, and protect patient information, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electrocardiograms, computed tomography (CT) scans, and other digital images.

At the Radiological Society of North America 2002 Conference, IBM also announced collaborations with leading PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications Systems) and medical imaging providers to deliver fully integrated solutions that combine powerful information technologies with advanced imaging systems to help improve the efficiency and overall quality of diagnostic care.

Today, a typical MRI or CT exam includes the creation of 20 to 100 images. A typical hospital can generate a million or more images during a single year, and the number is growing exponentially.

“The challenge is delivering images to doctors and radiologists within seconds and with more reliability so that breakthroughs in medical imaging can translate quickly to improved patient care,” said Kathy Smith, vice president, Storage Solutions, IBM Storage Systems Group. “IBM is working with Business Partners to provide the security-enhanced imaging solutions and infrastructure that provide a foundation to help customers meet federal regulations and allow doctors to have on-demand access to patient files, virtually any time and any place.”

Security-Rich Storage Solutions for Medical Images
According to IBM, its new medical imaging solutions provide the infrastructure that allows doctors and other medical staffs to access and share patient information over the network and securely store that information. IBM is delivering four new solutions for the specific needs of medical centers, ranging from a few thousand images to more than a million images a year.

For example, customers managing up to 25,000 studies typically require one terabyte of “online” storage capacity and three terabytes of “nearline” storage capacity. IBM has developed two solutions for these customers using either NAS or a SAN. The solutions use a combination of either IBM’s TotalStorage NAS or IBM TotalStorage FAStT for online storage, IBM TotalStorage Linear Tape-Open (LTO) for nearline storage, and IBM Tivoli storage management, backup/recovery, archive and Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) software.

Customers managing 150,000 studies per year typically require three terabytes of online storage and six terabytes of nearline storage. For these customers, IBM is offering a combination of IBM TotalStorage FAStT for online storage, LTO for nearline storage, and IBM Tivoli storage management, backup/recovery, archive and HSM software.

Finally, customers with more than 250,000 studies per year typically requiring seven terabytes of online and 14 terabytes of “nearline” storage capacity can use IBM’s TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server* (code named Shark) for online capacity, LTO for nearline storage, and Tivoli storage management, backup/recovery, archive and HSM software.

St. Luke’s Hospital, in Maumee, Ohio, uses IBM’s Enterprise Storage Server for managing medical records. Working with IBM and an IBM Business Partner, Compsat Technology, St. Luke’s new system enabled the hospital to maintain the same staff while easily supporting the growing demands for storage with its existing and new applications.

“Being an independent hospital allows us to take action quickly and better serve our patients,” said Larry Loehrke, CIO for St. Luke’s Hospital. “The flexibility, scalability, and reliability of IBM’s Shark architecture support that concept. This technology is enabling us to continue our focus on patient care while improving our ability to maneuver through the sea of healthcare challenges we’re facing as an industry.”

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