Dell Acquires InSite One to Ease Medical Image Sharing, Storage

Dell will buy medical archiving company InSite One to boost its Unified Clinical Archive and allow doctors to share medical images in the cloud.

Dell has announced it will buy InSite One, the developer of a medical archiving cloud application to make it easier for physicians to share medical images and make quick diagnoses by collaborating on images online.

Terms of the Dec. 22 agreement were not disclosed.

The deal will combine InSite's InDex Vendor-Neutral Enterprise Archive (VNA) cloud-based product with Dell's Unified Clinical Archive and DX Object Storage Platform.

InDex VNA simplifies storage of medical images through virtualization. The platform supports IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) standards of DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine), HL7, XDS (cross-enterprise document sharing) and XDS-i (cross-enterprise document sharing for imaging), according to InSite.

EHR (electronic health record) and HIE (health information exchange) applications can retrieve images from InDex with zero resource footprint, InSite reports.

Meanwhile, Dell's Unified Clinical Archive uses the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) format to allow doctors to access and store images such as CT scans, EKGs, mammograms, MRIs and surgical scope procedures.

"As the industry's leading provider of health care IT services, Dell will give InSite One an opportunity to reach more customers and expand our impact on the health care industry," Jim Champagne, CEO of InSite One, said in a statement.

Having medical data exist in multiple formats and locations cuts into the quality of patient care and is a major challenge facing storage of medical data, suggests Dr. James Coffin, vice president of Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences.

"The challenge to store, retrieve and securely share these massive and mushrooming collections of data pose a credible threat to the creation of a health care system fit for the 21st century," Coffin wrote in a blog post. "The need to securely store, retrieve and integrate those images seamlessly into electronic medical records will greatly tax systems currently in place."

Data storage will be a challenge for health care facilities with the government regulations and professional standards of care requiring them to store images for 10-20 years or longer, Coffin wrote.

Based in Wallingford, Conn., InSite One manages one of the world's largest imaging databases with more than 3.6 billion medical images. The company archives include close to 55 million clinical studies, and it runs almost 800 clinical sites.

ESG (Enterprise Storage Group) forecasts medical image data in North America to grow to more than 35 percent per year and reach nearly 2.6 million terabytes by 2014.

InSite maintains a secure, scalable cloud infrastructure that can handle all PACS (picture archiving and communications systems), data sources and modalities.

Using InSite's cloud-based rapid indexing and sharing platform, physicians could better manage image size and complexity as well as deal with incomplete patient records and improve the speed of image delivery.

The combined Dell/InSite database will be an open, scalable storage-as-you-go platform and help reduce the complexity of image retrieval, according to Dell.

Storing medical data in the cloud frees up costs for hospitals to improve care delivery, according to Dell. The database will also be HIPAA compliant.

"As the first company to bring cloud technology to the medical archive space, InSite One will help Dell's health care customers take advantage of the economics and scalability of the cloud for medical archiving and retention," added Berk Smith, vice president of Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences Services, in a statement. "And looking beyond archiving, the cloud will also be a valuable tool for information exchange, which is foundational to the transformation of health care," Berk said.

Companies are increasingly turning to the cloud to store medical data. IBM announced a TClouds project on Oct. 1 with a European consortium to test a medical cloud on a Portuguese smart energy grid and in a home health-care system in Milan, Italy.

Meanwhile, the Verizon Health Information Exchange, announced July 14, stores EHRs in the cloud using Oracle's Healthcare Transaction Base HIE platform.