Advancements in Medical Imaging & Picture Archiving and Communication Systems


Imaging has been prevailing as a method for medical diagnosis for many years, but traditional imaging methods are not candid and precise. The proper treatment of many diseases is possible only with the correct medical diagnosis. A surgeon can do his work more comfortably, precisely, and safely when the problem is diagnosed correctly. Many complex surgical conditions require the exact location of the damage or malfunctioning of the affected organ.

Medical treatment with proper diagnosis

Medical diagnosis is an integral part of medical treatment. The treatment of complex diseases is relied upon when their diagnosis is accurate. The need for innovative diagnostic techniques arose when many new diseases didn’t come to light. The demand for innovative diagnostic techniques became more intense when some new diseases were discovered, but their precise location in the body could be located with traditional diagnostic imaging methods, such as X-rays. The body’s internal organs are obscured by the bones, muscle, and skin create difficulty in their revelation and diagnosing the exact problem in the internal organ. The human body has been scanned for many ailments, defects, and damages for many years with an X-ray method, but it is not too influential for medical practitioners and surgeons to arrive at exact conclusions.

Technological advancements in medical diagnosis

Technological advancements have offered solutions to many challenges of traditional medical diagnostic imaging methods. Medical imaging is a breakthrough in the field of medical technology that has consistently advanced since the time it made its entry into the medical world. The development of imaging equipment and methods for the right kinds of diagnosis has proved helpful in the accurate diagnosis of even rare and more complex diseases. Using innovative medical imaging techniques, medical technicians, physicians, and surgeons can make an in-depth study of the defects to provide the right treatment.

Advance medical imaging

Innovative medical imaging is an advanced technique and process of creating visual representations of the interior of a body for clinical analysis and medical intervention; it enhances the visual representation of the body’s physiology, and the functions of tissues and organs. Medical imaging was conventionally used in the form of X-rays, but this imaging method is not perfect for precise diagnosis. Today, several other medical imaging techniques have been developed that are often used to diagnose, monitor, or treat medical conditions. Medical imaging creates a database of standard physiology and anatomy for identifying abnormalities.

Modern imaging methods

Highly advanced medical imaging techniques are available in contemporary medical technology. Radiography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic particle imaging, nuclear medicine, photoacoustic imaging, elastography, echocardiography, tomography, and functional near-infrared spectroscopy are highly used applications in medical imaging. These applications are an excellent approach to the right medical diagnosis and treatment even in the most complicated situations. The current medical imaging technology specifically answers the following questions:

·    Why was the radiology exam conducted?

·     What radiological tests were conducted?

·     What was the procedure or how was the examination conducted?

·      What were the primary verdicts of the examination?

·      What is the radiologist’s construal of the clinical findings?

The safety of innovative medical imaging techniques could be a high concern, but it is not dominant considering the positive value of the new methods. Ultrasound is considered the safest form of medical imaging, but others are not as risky as deemed to be.

PACS medical imaging

Picture archiving and communication systems, also called PACS medical imaging technology, are used for the electronic storage of images and reports. It swaps the traditional filing, retrieval, and transporting of film jackets, as in the X-ray method. PACS works with four computerized components:

  • hardware imaging machines;
  • a secure network; 
  • a workstation for viewing, and processing images;
  • electronic archives for storage and retrieval of images.

The PACS system is a highly advanced medical system that has an edge over the traditional system for the following main reasons.

·    PACS replaces hard-copy-based means of managing medical images.

  • PACS provides the possibility of remote access to the image files from any geographical location. So, there is no need for offsite viewing.

The disadvantages of PACS are its cost, the need for specialized personnel for its installation and maintenance, training of users, the possibility of breakdown, and data security issues. The poor reliability and the speed of image retrieval could be the more disadvantages of this system. Despite these disadvantages, PACS is useful from many viewpoints.

Cloud PACS

One of the newest developments in PACS systems is a move into the cloud. It offers a solution to the primary disadvantage of PACS, i.e., its cost that is reduced by scalable, high-quality systems with flexible configurations with cheaper hardware and software support. The solution is achieved by shifting data from traditional onsite storage and archiving system to the cloud storage principle. A cloud-based radiology PACS or Cloud PACS is much similar to a traditional PACS but still has a big difference. It takes care of deployment, support, upgrades, and system maintenance and updates, allowing focus solely on patient care rather than worrying about IT issues.

·  An offsite data center managed by the vendor puts the responsibility of data backup, disaster protection, and recovery responsibility on it.

·  The absence of an onsite data center reduces the ancillary investments that would be associated with running it, such as the emergency power backup or uninterruptible power supply (UPS), as well as the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

· Further reduction in overall costs is caused by the outsourcing of technology management for IT systems to IT experts.

Mini-PACS system

A Mini-PACS system combines advanced technology with top-notch software and online resources to provide offline and online archiving. It allows for generating an accurate DICOM image regardless of the modality being used. Using this system no more requires to use of film for diagnostic imaging scans. It saves money on film purchases, and also saves the space required to store films. It allows reinvesting time saved to care for patients.

Wrap up

In PACS, all results are available electronically. It makes it easy for someone to share information with other offices and also minimizes the chances of processing duplicate images. PACS software can generate a chronological view of radiology histories for patients for quick access to their past scans and results.

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