AT&T is deploying its Medical Imaging and Information Management cloud service in pilot projects at Baptist Health System in Birmingham, Ala., and Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.
AT&T has launched MIIM
(Medical Imaging and Information Management), a pilot cloud project that allows
physicians to store, view and share medical images such as X-rays and MRIs in
In the pilot phase, AT&T
is deploying the cloud service at Baptist
in Alabama and
Henry Ford Health System
in Detroit. It will start broad commercial
deployment by the third quarter, according to Randall Porter, assistant vice
president for AT&T ForHealth.
The cloud service is built
on AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service, the company's Web-based elastic
storage platform. MIIM stores data on EMC's Atmos storage hardware and runs
Acuo Technologies' Universal Clinical Platform software.
Acuo's application allows
the AT&T platform to be vendor-neural, which means doctors and radiologists
can access medical images from many PACS (picture archive communications
systems) rather than being restricted to a proprietary database, according to
Doctors can access images on
desktops, laptops as well as mobile devices. Additional rollouts to iPhones and
iPads are planned over the next few months, Porter told eWEEK.
"When you actually
store an image in the system, you're getting two copies of that image in two
different data centers," Porter explained. "And so from a
business-continuity standpoint, disaster recovery, as well as speed to access
those images, it's a very strong value proposition for these providers in
making these images available in two different places."
Announced June 22, MIIM is
part of AT&T's strategy to launch new health care products in the cloud
ForHealth health care IT business
, formed in November 2010.
Baptist has collected more
than 2 million images and creates about 30,000 new images per month, or 350,000
annually, AT&T reports.
"We believe AT&T
Medical Imaging and Information Management can help us provide improved
management and access to our ongoing medical-imaging studies and long-term
medical imaging as we expand access to patient medical images to our physician
community," Richard Shirey, Baptist Health's chief information officer,
said in a statement.
While Baptist Health will
concentrate on accumulating images in many practice areas such as radiology and
cardiology, Henry Ford will focus on cardiology images, Porter said.
Cardiologists in multiple locations will be able to view images.
With its pay-as-you-go
per-gigabyte price structure, MIIM could reduce the hospitals' costs on storing
images, Porter said.
"The model that
AT&T offers will help us manage images while containing costs for our $4
billion integrated health system," Kevin Yee, administrator for the Edith
and Benson Ford Heart & Vascular Institute at Henry Ford, said in a
A billion medical images
will be stored by medical professionals in 2012, according to Frost &
"Images are getting out
of control in terms of the number as well as the complexity," Porter said,
while also noting that images are now in color and video in addition to black
"Hospitals are looking
for a cost-effective way to not only store them but also to manage that
growth," he said. "So they're looking for a vendor- neutral
cloud-based capability to help them curb costs as well as enable their
physicians to access those images quicker from any device."