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Philips and Hitachi collaborate on developing scalable VNA

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | February 22, 2016
Business Affairs CT Health IT MRI X-Ray
The inability to rapidly share images across health systems is one of the biggest hurdles in the way of providing care as efficiently as possible — now Royal Philips and Hitachi Data Systems have announced a partnership to develop a solution to change that.

“We wanted to address the biggest challenges health care organizations face in making their many millions of images, often stored in multivendor systems and infrastructures from various departments, rapidly available to virtually any clinician at any location within the health system,” Mark Khalil, global director of solutions marketing and strategy for enterprise imaging informatics at Philips, told HCB News.

The collaboration will take advantage of Philips’ expertise in enterprise medical image management solutions and Hitachi’s digital health data management capabilities to create a new vendor-neutral archive (VNA) solution. The companies intend to make it so clinicians can access multi-discipline medical imaging information in less than three seconds.
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Many of Philips’ health system customers generate over two million medical images per week from X-ray, CT, MR scans conducted in the radiology, cardiology, oncology, dermatology, and plastic surgery departments. One radiology or cardiology scan can generate several hundred megabytes of data.

The problem is going to get even bigger as pathology and genomics data storage becomes more popular. Those images today are often stored in decentralized systems that are not able to connect with separate radiology, cardiology and dermatology databases.

Most of the conventional VNA solutions on the market have focused on addressing the need to integrate the different silos of data and the need to interoperate with other systems based on DICOM standards, said Khalil.

“However, because conventional VNAs have focused on a solution for integrating the silos, and offering an open archive, they have unfortunately compromised on performance and scalability,” he said. “We believe next generation advanced universal data management solutions cannot afford to make such compromises.”

Philips’ HealthSuite digital platform, which is an open hybrid on-premise and cloud-based platform, will be at the core of this new VNA. Hitachi Data Systems will contribute its experience with information protection, consolidation, archiving and searching.

“Like conventional VNAs, [the new VNA] must be highly universal and highly interoperable, based on standards, but just as importantly they must be highly performant and scalable too,” said Khalil.

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