Sign in to my dashboard Create an account

Cure your medical imaging storage challenges with NetApp and AWS

Surgeon reading an image report

Share this page

Portrait of Kim Garriott
Kim Garriott

Medical imaging comprises 90% of all medical data worldwide. A single digital pathology workflow can consume up to 1PB of archive storage annually, so it’s easy to see why digital imaging is the largest consumer of on-premises storage for healthcare organizations.

It all adds up

We’re all familiar with various types of medical images and their life-saving value for healthcare providers and patients. Mammograms enable early cancer detection. CT scans help doctors see a brain aneurism. Ultrasounds provide visibility into cardiac issues. The list goes on and on, but the point is, without medical imaging, modern medicine would not be effective at diagnosing and treating patients.

Although massive amounts of imaging data are great for patient care, from an IT standpoint, medical images are overwhelming and burdensome to manage. A typical U.S. hospital stores tens of terabytes of new medical imaging data annually. As imaging technology evolves, the number and size of those images is expected to grow by up to 10% annually. Retention laws require healthcare organizations to store those images for anywhere from 7 years to the life of the patient, so it’s easy to see how IT staff become overwhelmed by storing and managing such a fast-growing archive. Adding to the complexity, those images must be instantly available whenever and wherever healthcare providers need them, as well as easily sharable for analytics and research.

In addition to management challenges, storing all these medical images is expensive. To keep up with growth, most healthcare organizations expand their current storage infrastructure annually and do a refresh every 3 to 5 years.

Picture this

Fortunately, there's a solution that can make it significantly easier and more cost effective to manage medical images. Powered by NetApp® ONTAP®, Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP lets you replicate copies of your medical imaging data to the cloud. That means you can free up space in your data center, without sacrificing performance or protection, and give new value to data that was otherwise just taking up expensive space.

The first benefit you get by moving copies of your medical images to cost-effective storage in the cloud is data protection. By moving copies offsite, you have easily accessible backup copies, and you also have a solid disaster recovery solution. For the ultimate protection, Amazon Web Services offers geo-diverse options so you can store data in a local region or across regions—whatever meets your data protection requirements.

Once you get your medical imaging data to the cloud, you can leverage it in ways that aren’t possible when it’s locked in on-premises storage. Having your data in the cloud makes it more accessible to researchers and for artificial intelligence and machine learning analytics. As the crux of next-generation medicine, AI’s ability to quickly and accurately identify diseases such as cancer can save millions of lives. In fact, AI algorithms can scan and analyze biopsy images and MRI scans 1,000 times faster than humans, and they can diagnose with an 87% accuracy rate. But AI is only as good as the data it has to work with. In general, the more data, the more accurate the AI. But the data needs to be the right data.

With FSx for ONTAP, you can use NetApp Cloud Data Sense to get deep inside the data and identify specific criteria such as type of equipment used, imaging study type, and other data characteristics. By having the right data, AI algorithms can be more accurate and researchers can develop more precise treatments.

As a bonus, moving your data into the cloud can help jumpstart sustainability efforts by reducing the carbon footprint in your data center. It may not seem big now, but over time it will make a significant difference.

Get started today

One of the best things about FSx for ONTAP is that you can get started with it today. There's no need to go through a third-party software vendor or a long procurement process. It’s there and ready when you are. Because AWS created an architecture specifically for managing medical imaging data on FSx for ONTAP, you don’t need to worry about data protection and compliance—it’s all built right into the solution.

Once you get set up, you can use the same NetApp Snapshot™ and SnapMirror® technologies that you use on premises to quickly and easily migrate your medical imaging data to FSx for ONTAP without having to make any application or data management changes. But don’t just take my word for it—eHealth New South Wales offers proof of how easy it is to migrate 1.3PB of data to FSx for ONTAP. 

If you’re ready to leap into the cloud, check out all the benefits that Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP has to offer.

Kim Garriott

Named as one of HIMSS 2020 Most Influential Women in Health IT, Kim Garriott’s more than 20-year career has been focused on improving health outcomes through innovation, data management and interoperability. As Chief Innovation Officer for NetApp Global Healthcare and Life Sciences Kim works with private and public health sector clients to leverage NetApp technologies to drive innovative data management strategies. Prior to joining NetApp, Kim led the development of a first of its kind, research data-sharing platform for the 29 agencies and offices of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

View all Posts by Kim Garriott

Next Steps

Drift chat loading