Banner Health relies on HP and Bycast for long-term storage of medical imaging data

Palo Alto 04 February 2005HP is making medical imaging storage and retrieval more reliable and manageable for Banner Health, one of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in the United States. Banner has selected a comprehensive HP solution in support of its Arizona Regional Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) Archive. By 2009, the archive is expected to grow to more than 1,2 petabytes of data - more than 1000 trillion bytes of data - scaling to support seven medical facilities throughout central Arizona.


Enabling fast, reliable retrieval of this massive amount of data is the HP solution, which includes HP ProLiant DL 380 servers, HP StorageWorks Modular Smart Arrays, project management, implementation, deployment and integration services and 24x7 operational support. The solution, which is powered by Bycast Inc.'s StorageGRID software, will interface with multiple existing PACS image management systems. Bycast serves as HP's strategic partner to develop fixed content storage solutions for the health care industry. HP began the implementation process in December 2004.

Banner Health's Arizona facilities, dispersed in a 100-mile radius in the Phoenix area, perform more than 800.000 radiology and cardiology procedures annually, including CTs, MRIs and digital mammographies. The Arizona Regional PACS Archive plans to house and ensure the integrity, availability and security of this confidential data from each location in accordance with the federal government's Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations.

"Fast, reliable access to storage-intensive medical images is vital to the delivery of excellent patient care", stated Tim McFarlan, director of technology management, Banner Health. "The HP and Bycast solution met the performance, high-availability and multi-facility requirements of Banner Health's enterprise-wide storage strategy. It allows Banner to support multiple PACS' systems controls and optimize image lifecycle management based on the unique storage requirements for each imaging modality."

Banner Health's new distributed storage system will employ a multi-tier storage hierarchy based on the HP StorageWorks arrays integrated with HP ProLiant servers. Configurable information lifecycle management policies allow Banner to automatically store the data at the right location, on the right storage tier, at the right time, creating a cost-effective storage system.

By distributing the data across the multi-facility installation, the storage Grid ensures fast access for physicians and others in different Banner Health locations. Object-level replication and dynamic resource management features of Bycast's software will allow Banner to achieve high-availability service levels without the need to upgrade its existing wide-area network.

Complementing its PACS solutions for radiology and cardiology image management, Banner will be able to deliver a unified storage system that can simultaneously support these solutions due to the HP and Bycast solution's use of open standards.

"Banner Health and its patients will be the beneficiaries as health care professionals collaborate to deliver a higher quality of care. This long-term, multi-facility storage solution will result in a more flexible and agile storage and archive system resulting in better, more cost-effective patient care", stated Jeffrey D. Miller, vice president, worldwide health and education industries, HP. "HP is proud to be an integral part of this milestone for Banner."

Based in Phoenix, Banner Health is one of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in the country. Banner offers 19 hospitals, six long-term care centres and an array of other services, including family clinics, home care services and home medical equipment services, in eight western states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. In addition to basic emergency and medical services, Banner Health medical centres offer a variety of specialized services, including heart care, cancer treatment, delivery of high-order multiple births, organ transplants, bone marrow transplants, rehabilitation services, and behavioural health services. Banner Health is also involved in cutting-edge research aimed at helping patients suffering from some of the most serious diseases and conditions, including spinal cord injuries and Alzheimer's disease.

Bycast Inc. is the standard in high-performance storage software solutions based on the next generation of Grid computing technology. The Bycast StorageGRID solution combines the power of Grid computing with intelligent information lifecycle management to optimize petabyte-scale archives of fixed content data. Health care providers can leverage Bycast software solutions to securely store and efficiently transmit diagnostic images and documents within the enterprise or across multi-site facilities. Bycast solutions have been deployed at leading health care institutions including the British Columbia Cancer Agency. Bycast Inc. is a privately held company located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended October 31, 2004, HP revenue totaled $79,9 billion. More company news is available in the VMW January 2005 article HP and Siemens to provide greater accessibility, reliability in medical imaging management.

Leslie Versweyveld

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