What are some of the NetApp activities happening at the Radiology Society of North America 2012 conference and what does NetApp want to achieve at the conference?
Attending and hosting an exhibit at RSNA is always a wonderful opportunity for us. We have been involved in the imaging market for more than 10 years, and it continues to be a critical space for us. RSNA also allows us to introduce current clients, prospective clients and partners in the healthcare imaging space to new innovations and our core brand in general. This year, we will promote FlexPod® that is enabled for Vendor Neutral Archiving (VNA). Essentially, this is a data center platform that consolidates medical records and images from multiple disparate source systems and applications. Additionally, FlexPod can easily combine and scale up into larger configurations through our Clustered Data ONTAP offering. FlexPod that is enabled for VNA delivers an agile, efficient architecture that is straightforward to install, easy to manage and highly scalable, enabling IT to quickly deliver a highly functional and reliable system to clinicians.
Transitioning to electronic medical records (EMR) is a federal mandate, and an explosion of data has escalated – especially in the imaging space. How is NetApp assisting customers in this regard?
In Meaningful Use Phase 2, imaging has been included as an essential element of the EMR. Our primary goal is to provide the reliable, certified enterprise-class storage for our clients’ applications that range from small medical centers to large hospitals. Essential to this is to understand what our clients need. Through our CXO Advisory Board and other communication channels, we ensure we are in alignment with our clients’ requirements. NetApp delivers a comprehensive suite of cost-effective storage solutions that provide increased flexibility and efficiency without compromising reliability. This makes patient data, including images, easily assessable, which is critical to insure continuity of care.
Although many hospitals have EMR systems, many are unprepared when it comes to heightened imaging needs. What kind of problems are you seeing with imaging data storage, and how are you helping to address them?
Images make up a big part of a patient’s electronic health record. Look around. In general, image modalities are becoming more fine grained and denser, requiring more storage. Add to this the increased volume of images in general and the regulatory requirements demanding that they be retained for a longer period of time and you’ve got a huge data storage challenge on your hands. At NetApp we have teamed up with the leading PACS and VNA system providers to address the problems and offer solutions. We reduce the need for IT management, enable seamless scalability, and provide high availability, meaning we have accelerated backup and recovery capabilities which minimizes downtime. We also have partnered with industry leaders like Iron Mountain to provide innovative off premise cloud solutions for imaging back up, DR and VNA.
What’s on the horizon for the healthcare industry in terms of imaging storage needs, and what is NetApp doing to help customers stay ahead of the game?
Because of the regulatory requirements and the analytics required to make ACOs run effectively, what’s on the horizon is clearly an increase in data consumption. To meet these challenges while recognizing a diverse set of requirements, NetApp has developed a range of offerings. Although some are similar, a large academic medical center generally has different needs than a small radiology clinic. From our distributed content repository offering, Storage Grid, to the very large volumes available through Clustered Data ONTAP, NetApp has developed a scalable family of products to handle all these different workloads and allow our clients a roadmap to future growth without painful data migrations and fork lift upgrades.