Monday, September 9, 2013

CD’s vs the Cloud.

View of clouds in the Rockies, Co
Our recent on-line discussion regarding image sharing, which focused on advantages with regard to using a cloud solution for sharing information vs image exchange using CD’s, has gotten quite a few comments and created an interesting discussion on the various use groups. First of all, if you have not watched the video of this discussion, I encourage you to do so, at this link.

There were questions raised about security and encryption, which seems to be a major concern. One should realize that cloud solutions always provide either a secure dedicated link, or, in case they use a public communication infrastructure, it uses a VPN which provides encryption at the lower communication level, or at the transport level using https or similar. The information exchange is as secure as your credit card number when purchasing an on-line item in a store such as Amazon or eBay.

There are some distinct advantages of the CD exchange over cloud solutions: CD exchange is typically less inexpensive compared with a cloud solution, the integration of a report might be challenging using the cloud (they are typically added to the CD), and CD exchange is very simple: one can just pop in the CD and look at the images. Importing and/or viewing the images on a CD does not require an administrator in contrast to when importing images from an external source such as the cloud.

Even although these could still be considered a niche applicator, there are also challenges with exchanging video streams over the cloud because of bandwidth limitations and support by the receiver PACS of the MPEG encoding.

In my opinion, cloud transfer will prevail over the exchange of images using CD’s, but it will take some time. Cost reduction, and simplicity will certainly accelerate the acceptance of the cloud.