AstraZeneca streamlines and integrates clinical image data with Oracle Database 10g

Redwood Shores 06 March 2007AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company, deployed Oracle Database 10g as the foundation for a new clinical image repository designed to help it manage and improve access to multiple terabytes of life sciences and medical images used in the clinical trial process. The new repository will also help AstraZeneca streamline regulatory compliance and clinical trial efficiency and make best use of the imaging data and investments in imaging studies.


As a developer and manufacturer of prescription pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca must manage large volumes of data encompassing many different types and formats, ensuring the integrity of the data. The company, in recent years, found that it was using and storing a growing number of images - from x-rays to microscope slides - as part of its clinical trial processes. In early 2006, AstraZeneca launched an initiative to create a centralized clinical image repository - built using the Oracle interMedia features of Oracle Database 10g - to enable rapid access for approved users, ensure data integrity, and streamline compliance. AstraZeneca expects its image repository will exceed 100 terabytes of data within the next year.

AstraZeneca's goals included storing image data securely on a single database as opposed to using an auxiliary storage device, which has the potential to lose images during transfer. Oracle interMedia enabled this capability and helped ensure easy access to images for authorized users. AstraZeneca uses Oracle interMedia features to perform image processing operations, meta-data extraction and thumbnail generation for numerous image formats including TIFF, JPEG and the DICOM medical image standard.

"Our desire was to build a scalable system for managing images that is as robust as our system for managing clinical data", stated Dr. Goutham Edula, Business Lead for Clinical Imaging Informatics, AstraZeneca. "Oracle interMedia helped us plan for the future by creating a centralized repository to serve our needs today and moving forward. It also allowed us to create a singular back-end for data storage, giving us the flexibility to support multiple work flows in AstraZeneca's various practice areas."

Compliance was also an important factor driving the creation of the image repository. Oracle interMedia enables data standardization and validation that helps AstraZeneca streamline efforts to comply with regulatory requirements around the globe. "As digital images are an integral part of the clinical trail process, pharmaceutical manufacturers like AstraZeneca are looking for safe and reliable ways to store these images", stated Oracle Vice President for Health Industries Mychelle Mowry. "Oracle Database 10g, with its interMedia features, provides a highly scalable, secure and reliable solution that meets the pharmaceutical industry's image storage and management requirements."

Included with Oracle Database 10g Enterprise Edition, Standard Edition and Standard Edition One, Oracle interMedia manages multimedia data within Oracle Database under transaction control. Oracle Database can also store and index meta-information together with external references that enable efficient access to media content stored outside the database. Oracle interMedia enables the efficient management and retrieval of image, audio and video data. With knowledge of the most popular multimedia formats, Oracle interMedia automates metadata extraction and basic image processing.

AstraZeneca is a major international health care business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of health care services. It is one of the world's major pharmaceutical companies with health care sales of $26,74 billion and leading positions in sales of gastro-intestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection products. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $12,45 billion health care business with more than 12.000 employees.

Leslie Versweyveld

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