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Why cloud matters to radiologists

August 28, 2023
Marc Smith
Marc Smith

When is the last time you tried watching something on Netflix and the app wasn’t available? Or tried to check your credit card balance online and your banking app wasn’t responding? They’re (nearly) always there. That’s the value of creating a cloud-based working environment: it’s always there, always available.

That’s why healthcare is increasingly embracing the cloud. Proven vendors that provide cloud-based services are following standards and frameworks set by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) – comprising more than 800 cross-industry member organizations defining the future of cloud and investing in its advancement. The benefits – scalability, flexibility, more efficient IT operations, and savings – are already evident in other cloud-adopting industries. And even when there are disruptions in service, they’re brief, with service and data restored in full and quickly – a level of speed and timeliness that on-premise environments just can’t promise. Why should healthcare be left behind?

But these benefits are so often couched in stories aimed at C-suite executives and IT directors. What about the clinicians and radiologists who are directly responsible for patient care?

Not every imaging organization is at the same place in their cloud journey – but they’re all on that journey. And despite sounding like more of a technical consideration, cloud can and will have a profound positive impact on radiologists’ workflows and day-to-day lives. The first step to putting that into action, though, is understanding just how and why the cloud matters to radiologists.

Trends pushing toward cloud adoption
There’s no one right way to use the cloud. Some hospitals will deploy cloud-based solutions for archiving data while using on-premise servers for their current studies and reports. Others will rely on cloud for backing up data and recovering from cyberattacks. And other health systems will go fully cloud to reap the advantages of its availability, reliability, and scalability. This latter approach, also known as cloud-native, ensures that applications are being architected from the start with cloud in mind, rather than deploying the usual lift-and-shift strategy of migrating applications from an on-premise environment into the cloud.

This migration to cloud has been fueled by multiple trends, including:

• Huge increases in imaging data volume and greater storage requirements
• Cost savings from eliminating or reducing on-site server maintenance

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