The Best Way to Share DICOM Images
Conventionally, DICOM medical images are stored in PACS servers and those servers are located in the healthcare facility but those servers cannot be accessed from outside the facility and this is one of the limitations of that system. However, technology has advanced and we have found better ways to store DICOM images. We will talk about that excellent way to store and share DICOM images.
The Conventional Method
There were two ways to share DICOM images from a hospital’s servers.
- CD or DVD: The most common way to share DICOM images was through CDs or DVDs. They have been the most common portable device in the last decade. Doctors copy DICOM images and burn them onto a CD or DVD disc. The discs contain both DICOM images and medical data of the patients.
- Other Portable Device Like A USB Flash Drive: Flash drives have been popular in recent years and they have been useful to share DICOM images. The process is the same as a CD or DVD.
Problems with Sharing DICOM Files Through CD or DVD
There were some problems with sharing DICOM files using a CD or DVD. The cost was one of them. Burning a CD or DVD for every patient costs a lot of money. Also, to view those images, special software had to be used and they cost money, too. Then there was the problem of data loss. A CD or DVD could easily get lost and with it the valuable files. They could also get scratched or damaged and the patients had to get new a CD or DVD from the hospital again.
How to Share DICOM Images Now
When there are problems, people find solutions to them. The solution to the conventional DICOM medical image sharing is to use cloud-based medical image sharing. Cloud computing lets its users access the Internet’s resources from various range of storage. In order to share DICOM images, you don’t need a portable device, you can just get them from your own smartphone/tablet/PC. This is a huge advancement in DICOM image sharing.
The Benefits of Cloud Sharing
- More Access
DICOM images that are stored in the cloud can be accessed by doctors and patients from anywhere in the world at any time with a smart device, which everyone owns now. You don’t need to be physically present at the hospital to access the files. You can just see them from your home if you want.
- Lesser Cost
Hospital facilities can get rid of their PACS servers dedicated to store DICOM images and use them for any other uses. There is also no need for any portable device. So you can save money from both of these ways.
- More Security
As said earlier, shared images through CD or DVD could be easily lost or damaged. But when the DICOM images are stored in the cloud, they are stored through secured servers that are similar to the kind of servers used for online banking.
Nowadays, if someone asks ‘how to share DICOM images?’ and someone else answers ‘through a portable device,’ the answer will most likely get laughed at. Cloud-based image sharing has made image sharing is the most prudent way to share DICOM images right now.