Implementing VNA with IBM Storage

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Published: 19th March 2012
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Our world is taking a new direction as we embrace the technology available today that grants us more convenience in our lives by cutting down clutter. No more pens. No more paper. No more bulky file cabinets, littered with records emblazed with hand written notes.

Today, personal records for anything and everything are stored on computers, making the pen and paper obsolete pieces in the retention of pertinent business information. This change is most prominent in the medical field – for the ease of instantly transmitting lifesaving medical information; medical service providers have gone to EMR (Electronic Medical Record) systems. This has been a work in progress as not all companies, whether small or large, have had the resources to change the structure of the business. A few other concerns have arisen as well.

There are a variety of ways businesses are making this transition. Many are utilizing cloud-based service providers to centralize their information while others make use of their own in-house servers. Regardless of the technology methods used, getting information back and forth from specific medical devices has been tricky. Typically, a medical office will use one kind of PAC (Picture Archiving and Communication) System. These systems tend to be very proprietary – they don’t play well with other systems. Until recently, communication has been limited by the functionality standards set in place by that manufacturer on their specific piece of equipment. When it comes time to share something cross-platform or when a company decides to implement a new vendor, old files and certain devices “don’t work correctly.” This kind of provisioning has caused a bit of a stir among those that make the rules relating to technology cohesion. This has caused a new concept to emerge known as VNA or Vendor Neutral Archive.

As of right now, VNA does not have an exact definition as a lot of its compromising elements are still up for debate. To put it simply, VNA is a regulation in place to ensure that equipment, regardless of manufacturer, can communicate with other relevant devices and computer systems. Should a part of the device fail and need replaced or if the entire unit fails, it previously would have to be replaced with the exact same part or an entirely new device of the exact same kind. VNA is opening up the doors of compatibility by creating a standard like Eli Whitney’s concept of interchangeable parts. VNA requires compliance with the likes of DICOM, which has been used for the exchange of medical information for about 15 years. Also, all data must now be stored in a non-proprietary fashion, so that a service provider will not be ‘locked-out’ from their own data. VNA also requires that the system is scalable, so that when it comes time to upgrade the system, the service provider is not limited to the options of their original choice of manufacturer.

IBM has been a forerunner in this battle of communication. IBM has been creating products since before the birth of the home PC that utilize an open design. Even before the idea of a VNA, IBM had been making parts with idea of versatility in integration and actually implementing them. IBM has been setting an example that should have been followed by others long ago. Today, IBM creates some of the most versatile systems, as their components as well as their entire systems are designed to play nice with other rival manufacturers.


Author Bio :-

Nordisk systems specialized in Tivoli storage manager provides a wide range of data protection software for your business. Data center virtualization Solutions allowing our clients to achieve many benefits of a virtualized environment. Try our storage, network, and server virtualization services for all of your company data.

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