Healthcare Storage Virtualization sets information free to bring hospitals significant time, efficiency and cost savings

Ashtead, UK – 21st April 2010 – BridgeHead Software will next week unveil the principles behind Healthcare Storage Virtualization (HSV) at Health Informatics Congress 2010 at The ICC, Birmingham (April 27 – 29). The introduction of HSV – a scalable, future-proof solution providing hospitals with choice, flexibility and control over the way data is accessed, protected and managed – comes at a time when an unprecedented number of healthcare organisations are seeking technologies to improve efficiency and drive down rising costs.

IT organisations within healthcare are constantly battling with challenges around data management and storage. With an everchanging technological landscape and the upsurge in patient data (as hospitals move closer to fully electronic medical records), it is becoming increasingly difficult, time-consuming and expensive for IT professionals to manage and maintain their storage hardware estates. Furthermore, there is in an increasing demand for data to be accessible and available across applications, departments, networks and geographical locations. This combined with the essential requirement for data security and disaster recovery capabilities makes data management and storage a higher priority than ever before.

BridgeHead Software’s CEO, Tony Cotterill, argues that “these challenges are an additional headache that healthcare IT organizations could do without. Healthcare Storage Virtualization goes a long way towards taking these pains away enabling IT professionals to focus on other critical areas.”

“Healthcare Storage Virtualization embodies our ethos of supporting and underpinning the electronic patient record [EPR] and empowering IT at hospitals of all sizes to meet growing storage needs without compromising on current hardware brand or media type,” explained Cotterill. “HSV provides the essential
foundation for intelligent storage supporting all applications across the entire hospital – from archiving DICOM images from the PACS system to scanning documents for the EPR system. HSV thus represents a logical next step in the journey towards carbon-neutral, digitally enabled, paper-free healthcare.”

What is Healthcare Storage Virtualization?
Healthcare Storage Virtualization is a technology platform that decouples software applications from the physical storage hardware on which the application data resides. By separating these applications from the storage device/s, healthcare organisations have a lot more choice, flexibility and control over the way data is accessed, protected and managed. The net effect – better utilisation of hardware resources and, more importantly, the efficient access and use of critical electronic patient data.

HSV allows healthcare organisations to take ownership of their data even though it may reside on disparate software and hardware systems. Being vendor-agnostic, BridgeHead HSV has the ability to interface with any storage platform intelligently, creating better and broader availability of content as well as prohibiting unwanted access and providing comprehensive disaster recovery capability.

In addition, BridgeHead HSV technology offers powerful connectivity to all storage media types. As part of its advanced data protection and archiving features, HSV allows files to be transformed (e.g. compressed and de-duplicated) invisibly in the background, irrespective of media type and functionality, vastly reducing the capacity required across the storage real estate and often delaying the need for hardware upgrades.

Finally, BridgeHead’s focus on healthcare lies at the heart of HSV. Consequently, all of the common native standards found within healthcare IT are supported e.g. HL7, DICOM XDS style interfaces etc. This support allows speedy integration of the HSV solution resulting in a more rapid return on investment.

The Key Benefits of Healthcare Storage Virtualization

Improved Storage Utilisation
There is no need to buy expensive, specialty storage platforms that lock users into a proprietary architecture. Instead, users of HSV reap the benefits of de-duplication, encryption, compression, and containerisation using the disk systems of their choice.

Trouble-free Data Migration
This much is certain: medical data will outlive the storage it sits on. HSV allows users to easily migrate data to new storage devices in a manner seamless to applications and end users. And as new technologies arrive in the healthcare arena, the HSV platform can easily accommodate them without significant extra investment in IT resources.

Enhanced Content Access
HSV enables hospitals to create central repositories for storing and accessing all clinical data from disparate systems. With meta-data and full-text indexing, BridgeHead Software’s federated search facilities will ensure everyone finds what they are looking for quickly and easily, without the technology headaches that other overlay IT solutions can generate.

Better Data Protection
System backup. Data replication. Multi-copy archive. With HSV, critical hospital data is secured on multiple media types in multiple locations, where and when you need it. This smart, secure storage infrastructure enables clinicians and other care staff to quickly access patient data and get on with the task of treatment, rather than spending excessive amounts of time running in all-too-familiar administrative circles.

Integrated Into Healthcare
Far more than simple storage provisioning, HSV integrates with healthcare applications. With support for DICOM, HL7, XDS protocols, among other standards, IT professionals have the power of an intelligent healthcare storage ecosystem at their fingertips. As a result, healthcare IT is easier to manage, and improved data access translates into better patient care and speedier treatment cycles.