Faster access to data can make the difference between life and death for patients. But making sure doctors can access data quickly and easily can be a challenge. For one French hospital, improving their storage solution has made medical images and examination data available almost 100% faster than before.
Healthcare’s data deluge
Did you know that about 30% of the world’s data volume is generated by the healthcare industry? It’s estimated that healthcare data’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will reach 36% by 2025. That rate is 10% faster than financial services, and 11% faster than media and entertainment.
From a treatment perspective, this volume of data is a boon for patients, their doctors and researchers. But it comes at a price: limited flexibility, security and privacy concerns, greater expense and the possibility of shadow IT issues. Departmental PACS (picture archiving and communication systems) and storage silos make consistent data management, availability and security a significant challenge.
These were issues that Center Hospital University (CHU) Dijon Bourgogne was facing. CHU Dijon Bourgogne is one of the top 20 hospitals in France, serving the Côte‐d’Or region and beyond. Not only does the hospital treat patients, but it’s also a research and teaching facility, training the next generation of doctors.
First founded in the 1200s, CHU Dijon Bourgogne was a home for abandoned children before eventually becoming a hospital. As you might imagine, being in operation for over 800 years has required continual evolution and adaptation as times and conditions change. And recently, that change has come in the form of the rapidly growing amount of data the hospital deals with on a regular basis.
Grappling with centuries’ worth of medical images and ever-increasing data
The quantity of data CHU Dijon Bourgogne produces and must store is nothing short of epic — 60 TB in 2021 alone. Not only that, but France’s data retention laws also require its PACS to be both highly scalable and secure as they store all patient data for 20 years after a patient’s death. And medical images must be retained even longer, meaning the hospital is looking at centuries of images that must be collected and stored.
In addition to storage requirements, the hospital’s staff and researchers faced lag time when trying to access and retrieve data. They need real-time data but were sometimes forced to request images a day before and then wait. So, when a growing number of files began to cause system issues, the institution implemented Scality RING software‐defined object storage on HPE Apollo 4200 servers. Two of the key deciding factors for choosing the solution were Scality’s reputation among hospitals and an endorsement from GE Healthcare of the solution as a good fit with their imaging system.
A new platform offers immediate security and service-level benefits
The new data storage platform is spread across three data centers, which meets CHU’s security and service‐level goals.
“We can lose any of the three data centers without losing the production. This is important because doctors and researchers need to have immediate access to data around the clock, and now they do,” says Benoit Turc, CHU’s IT technical department manager.
The fact that the solution could work across multiple data centers with all the necessary security levels — and that the hospital could optimize disk usage — was an important factor in CHU’s choice.
“We insisted that it be spread over the three data centers because we wanted to check that it was running correctly and, therefore, optimize the use of our disks and fill two‑thirds of the servers, with the others being used for redundancy and security purposes,” Turc explains further.
With RING, the data is well protected with replication and erasure coding, but the system places much less data on disks, so CHU needs less capacity to store the same amount of data.
A seamless and secure system supports better patient care
The HPE and Scality solution delivers the performance, reliability and massive scalability the institution needs — plus, it integrates well with their information system, and the close cooperation between Scality and HPE is highly appreciated. “When I have a question about something, I can contact either company,” says CHU Dijon Bourgogne’s IT technical department manager.
“It’s very easy to maintain and reliable. We can expand without limits or disruption. We don’t ask ourselves anymore, ‘Is it going to be complex and cumbersome, or how long will it take?’ We just do it.”
The institution’s doctors are also enjoying the benefits of the new solution – they can access medical images and examination data from patient files almost 100% faster than they could with their old system. When healthcare providers don’t have to spend time looking for information, they can spend more time with patients. Medical specialists outside the hospital can access data and images through a portal with authentication methods in place, which supports continuity of care. Patients also have access to their images and data; they are using the Scality system without even knowing it.
And thanks to the new solution, CHU Dijon Bourgogne is now poised to use AI to analyze medical images, optimize the patient journey, and assist with genomic research for predictive purposes.
In a nutshell, the Scality and HPE storage solution:
- Delivers data to physicians and researchers 99.96% faster
- Stores vast patient history data, supporting continuity of care
- Achieves SLAs by updating easily without downtime
- Ensures security with redundancy and replication
Storage for a new era of healthcare
As medical care becomes more digitized and connected, healthcare organizations require scalable storage solutions that can grow with their needs and help them remain both compliant and secure. CHU Dijon Bourgogne found its optimal solution; have you found yours?
For a more in-depth look at the CHU Dijon Bourgogne story, you can read the full case study here.