Keeping pace with technology developments and legislative mandates is challenging for hospitals and imaging centers focused on women’s health. Let’s consider these few facts:
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women affecting about 1 in 8 women in the U.S.
- 40% of women have dense breasts and a five times greater risk for breast cancer
- Five states have laws in place and a dozen others have pending legislation around breast density notification
- Using 3D Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) with conventional 2D mammography finds 50% more cancers than 2D imaging alone and also reduces the false-positive rate
- Tomosynthesis images are 15X the size of conventional 2D mammography images
Though guidelines and mandates for breast cancer screenings vary, we know that early detection of cancer can save lives. Conventional mammograms, however, have their
limitations. A study by the Mayo Clinic in 2011 found that 75 percent of cancers in women with dense breast tissue were missed by mammography alone. Many women with dense breasts are unaware of this condition, hence the push toward breast density notification, potentially leading to increased demand for alternate tests. Some of the other tests that may help find cancers not seen on mammograms include ultrasound, breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and tomosynthesis.
What is breast tomosynthesis? Also known as a 3D mammogram, it is a technique that is able to reconstruct multiple slices of the breast using different projections to create a 3D image. A new study by Lancet Oncology reports: “Using 3D digital breast tomosynthesis with conventional 2D mammography finds 50% more cancers than 2D imaging alone and also reduces the false-positive rate.”
The availability of 3D imaging may factor into a patient’s selection of a particular provider, so many healthcare organizations are looking at 3D imaging to improve diagnosis and quality of care, as well as to become more competitive.
But what is the impact on IT platforms supporting these new devices? Consider that an uncompressed tomosynthesis study is 1.2GB compared to 88MB for a conventional 2D mammogram and that this data must be stored for 10+ years as per the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA). That means an imaging center doing 20,000 mammograms each year historically requiring less than 1TB to store two copies will now need more than 12 TB of long-term storage. Talk about a data explosion!
Without adequate planning healthcare providers often scramble for storage solutions after acquiring a 3D imaging device. There are several options ranging from scaling existing storage and IT staffing based on projected growth to leveraging Archive-as-a-Service model through a trusted service provider. A hybrid approach is also an attractive option whereby 3-5 years of studies are managed onsite while the long-term archive is moved to a cloud-based service. A managed service model can also provide one-time pay-per-study pricing that makes it easier to forecast and budget as operating expenses while reducing the need for up-front capital investment.
It’s time to get prepared for the new wave of imaging technology and legislative mandates. For more information on technology options to address clinical data growth, please visit Dell’s Unified Clinical Archive.
Tags: Business,Data Center,Healthcare,Technology