Sunday, November 25, 2012

RSNA 2012 - Cloud Computing for Radiologists—A Primer

Cloud computing session. See below for the learning objectives of this session.
Cloud computing involves both applications and services delivered over the internet using hardware and servers in a data center.
Virtual systems and cloud based systems can be used both within radiology as well as outside. Cloud computing provide referring clinicians with both image interpretation as well as teaching capabilities.

Cloud Computing can be applied for
1) Using virtualized systems to improve access to advanced image processing tools.
2) Using cloud based systems to provide access to advanced imaging tools.
3) Getting hands on experience using 2D / 3D / 4D tools to process data in near realtime in a virtual environment.

advantages of cloud computing
1) should lower IT costs
2) automate storage management
3) improve scalability
4) improve accessibility (e.g. improve access to advanced image processing tools)
5) fast deployment of services

Currently, people are net centered and used to being online and connected at all times. This is one of the main drivers behind cloud computing since the investment in having the best technology on the serverside is the responsiblity of the service provider and not the user.

Problems or challenges in cloud computing are:
1) can the networks available service all the cloud based applications?
2) how do we ensure patient data security and privacy?
3) is it really saving money?

when using Citrix like solutions, a major problem is that Citrix will not notify that the displayed information is compressed. If the software you use is not Citrix aware then it says that diagnostic quality data without compression is displayed while it actually is compressed by Citrix to preserve bandwidth.

Trade-offs of local storage versus cloud storage should be considered in terms of reliability, latency, costs, and scalability.
Keep in mind that the bandwidth of the network is not all, the latency is dictating how much you can transfer over that network. Therefore, testing or computing the transfer time based on the latency is essential.

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