By Michael Wilke, Director, Marketing, EMC Backup Recovery Systems
I had the opportunity this week to attend the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) convention in Chicago. Now, you might think this is an odd place for EMC – much less a backup guy – to show up at, and, well, in some respects it is.
However, when you consider the rapid growth rate of healthcare data, my being there doesn’t just make sense, it makes a great deal of sense. In North America alone, data volumes are projected to increase at a CAGR of more than 35% over the next 4 years, to nearly 14 exabytes, or 14 billion billion (!) bytes.* That’s a whole lot of data that will need to be stored, managed and, yes, protected.
While most of us know that radiology is the science of creating images of the human body for diagnosis and treatment and a radiologist is a physician who is tasked with interpreting these images, few of us think about the critical solutions that are back-ending these tools.
And so, over the years RSNA has become an interesting blend of users and vendors – the medical professionals who use the radiological tools and the technology companies that provide the PACS imaging solutions, the applications, the storage, etc, that really enable the full benefits of these images to be realized from both a patient and business perspective. (By the way, this was the 97th RNSA show. The first x-ray device was actually discovered in 1895… I looked it up. Who knew? ).
While the medical advantages are obvious, healthcare is still a business and there are significant pressures to show favorable cost benefits for this imaging technology. The right underlying infrastructure can help optimize both.
Clinical value and cost efficiency increase when radiological images can be shared easily and broadly from diagnosis to therapy, and stored over the long term. And protecting this information is becoming more critical as well. As data growth accelerates and infrastructures continue to shift to virtual, next-generation backup and recovery solutions will be required to ensure recovery objectives are met, costs are contained and backup can transform along with the organization.
Also, as more and more healthcare data is moved into the “cloud” and is subjected to “big data practices” (the scope and collaborative nature of healthcare data make it an ideal “big data” candidate), healthcare organizations will need to look to companies that can help them build the overarching infrastructure. Backup and recovery may not be the first thing that may jump to your mind, but it will be one of the first areas that successful healthcare providers will want to consider.
So, it turns out, RSNA presents a very interesting picture of both the advances in imaging and the infrastructure needed to support it.
*Source: ESG Research Report 2011 – North American Health Care Provider Market Size and Forecast.