PACS Insider

Dear PACS Insider,

What is the life span of a PACS? How many years a PACS can function and how many years it provides optimal performance in a radiology department reflect two different time spans.

Well-designed PACS can operate for decades in the manner they were designed, but this doesn't necessarily mean that they retain the same capabilities of optimizing performance in a radiology department. Too many changes in imaging technology are occurring at a breathtaking rate. For this reason, the newest PACS incorporating the latest features, the most advanced computer technology, and the newest robust security measures produce the most optimized performance. The trade-off is that to keep abreast, the "optimized PACS" life span is shorter.

Purchasing software upgrades regularly can keep a PACS updated, but at some point, the issue of replacing aging hardware -- computers, servers, display monitors, etc. -- needs to be addressed. The advantages of a replacement PACS, and planning for it, are discussed in an article about the case of a Dutch community hospital that is about to upgrade its system.

We'd like to continue discussing this important subject. If you've completed the replacement of a PACS, whether from your existing PACS vendor or another one, and would like to share your experiences with the PACS Digital Community, please email me.

If you're considering a new PACS, don't overlook Dr. Neelam Dugar's article about how vendor-neutral archives address the deficiencies of PACS. Click here to read it.

Also of interest is a success story of a private imaging clinic in Moldova that began business only three years ago. A RIS and a PACS definitely played a role. You can read it here.

Imaging informatics -- PACS, teleradiology, imaging informatics software -- dominates the RSNA annual meeting as much as modalities do now. This has been the case for some years, and the 2012 event was no exception. We encourage you to take a look at the dozens of articles and product news published in the 2012 RADCast @ RSNA, which you can access here.

Happy holidays!

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