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Best Data Storage Solutions for X-rays

Are you in charge of a radiology department? If so, you probably already know that it can be difficult to choose the right kind of storage technologies for x-rays. The first hurdle you need to overcome is the rapid evolution of technology. You don’t want to end up with data storage technology that becomes obsolete before you’re even done paying for it, after all.

While you want to avoid that, it can be difficult to anticipate how data storage systems will evolve in the near future, let alone the distant future. To appreciate this better, it’s helpful to look backward to understand what might be coming down the line. Since the hard drive was invented in 1952, its capacity has increased by a factor of 17.6 million. Through the years, capacity has grown by an average of 33 percent every year. This demonstrates how easy it is to purchase a data storage solution that will quickly become outdated if you don’t successfully anticipate what the future will bring.

The next obstacle you must overcome if you’re shopping for a data storage solution is your budget. When it comes to data storage for picture archiving systems, or PACS, data storage can be one of your biggest expenses. Because it is so easy to overbuy, especially if you’re not well-versed in data storage for PACS, it’s vital for you to work with a data storage solutions provider you trust.

An Introduction to Data Storage for PACS

In general, there are three basic types of data storage for PACS, online, nearline and offline. Online storage is the practice of storing x-rays on magnetic hard drives that grant access to images in milliseconds and are able to transfer x-rays somewhere between 10s to 100s of megabytes per second. These capabilities make online storage immediately accessible to PACS.

Nearline storage employs a tape or an optical jukebox that uses a robotic arm to retrieve images and put them in a drive which reads or writes data. Nearline storage systems are often able to grant access to data in 60 seconds or less and they can transfer images at a rate of a few megabytes per second.

As you probably guessed, offline storage involves using removable tape or another kind of media that is stored in a catalog. When data is needed, it has to be manually retrieved from storage. With offline storage, it can take a comparatively long time to retrieve data and data can be lost easily if it’s misplaced, incorrectly labeled or handled improperly. Today, the medical field has little use for offline storage for x-rays given its inherent inefficiencies and risks.

Viable Data Storage Systems from SANDirect

While there is a widespread misbelief that PACS require enterprise-level data storage systems, that’s often not the case. Many radiology departments will find that a simpler, dedicated storage system will suit their needs just fine. Here are some of the data storage solutions you may want to consider:

  • Direct attached storage

  • Storage area network

  • Network attached storage

  • Cloud storage

To determine which data storage technology is right for you, we encourage you to complete our storage checklist. We’ll examine the information you provide and contact you with some data storage solutions that will work well at your location. Trust the experts at SANDirect to find a data storage solution for your radiology department. Fill our out our data storage checklist now.

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