Use of Next Generation Technologies at BRIT Systems

When BRIT Systems was formed in 1992 as a teleradiology, PACS and RIS provider, companies such as IBM, EMC and Oracle drove information technology innovation. Today, however, the Internet revolution has changed the pace and focus of innovation. Google, Amazon and Facebook handle large workloads and volume (millions of users) not with conventional, mainframe computing, but rather with commodity hardware and open standards - a different approach that utilizes virtualization, dynamic scaling and cloud computing.

In many ways, radiology image management is no different; image file sizes have grown exponentially with the emergence of high-field MR, multi-detector CT and digital mammography: visible light - endoscopy and digital pathology - are on the horizon. Radiologists are no longer centralized in a reading room down the hall from the exam rooms; rather, remote reading and decentralized "departments" are growing in number and require capabilities to quickly view and deliver images electronically, and communicate with referring clinicians.

Clustering is the use of virtualization, dynamic scaling and cloud computing. Virtualization refers to separating the operating system from the resource. Each computing function does not require dedicated hardware, rather, by running multiple copies of the OS, computing can move to a resource that has more power, capacity, etc. With dynamic scaling, all computer nodes are active, and additional nodes can be added to the cluster for more capacity. Cloud computing is a "pay-per-use" concept that uses virtualization to tap into powerful servers, often located within highly secure data centers, for advanced computations or other complex programming.

AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript + XML) is another advancement in client-side interactive Web applications. AJAX is a way to communicate with a server, without interfering with the content or current state of the Web page. Its value is in the ability to update content without requiring the user to manually "refresh" the page. And, by requesting only the data that needs to be updated, AJAX helps reduce bandwidth requirements and load time.

Today, web clients are changing the way clinicians work, and the way technology impacts their workflow. With these workstations, all that is needed to facilitate viewing data and accessing applications is a Web browser. Processing is done at the server, so there is no loading of software or an OS onto the Web client, therefore, it has a lower maintenance cost for IT - they simply just upgrade the server.

So what does this all mean to users of RIS, PACS and Teleradiology? First, deployment strategies should see a dramatic decrease in the time and cost required to "go live," due to the use of commodity hardware and open standards. With Web clients, the time and cost to install software is reduced exponentially, as one server can feed the applications and data to many clients.

Virtualization and Web clients are driving remote reading capabilities and anytime, anywhere access to data and images. The future possibilities of emerging wireless technologies will only further propel the dissemination of patient information throughout the enterprise and beyond.

The use of next-generation, browser-based technologies and a new approach to computing is not just a vision for radiology. It is reality that BRIT Systems has brought to fruition with the Roentgen Works family of radiology IT products.

To learn more, read our White Paper on Next Generation Technology.