SPIE Medical Imaging 1994
Conference paper

Can hospitals afford digital storage for imagery?

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Digital medical images (scanned x-ray photographs, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imagery, ...) will consume 2-3 orders of magnitude more space than similar numbers of other images managed by digital storage subsystems. We investigate what a hospital will have to pay for a Picture A cquisition and Communication System (PA CS) .Assuming that tangible displaced costs-the costs of creating, storing, and managing film-define the upper bound of what hospitals will be willing to pay for workstations, network, and digital storage, we find the EDP solution to be affordable today and attractive in two years. The archival medium currently favored by PACS researchers is optical disk technology. Performance and cost characteristics are likely to make magnetic tape juke box technology a better choice. The published literature teaches much of what is needed for optimal data compression. Uncertainty about liability will persuade some radiologists to save data beyond the noise-determined limits. A practical system will charge for data stored and transmitted and allow each user to balance cost and risk.