Radiologists don't have impressive information technology backgrounds, so when things stop working in a picture archiving and communication system they have no idea why, says Rakesh Patel, a radiology registrar (resident) at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust in the United Kingdom.

And radiologists also don't understand the benefits of Web-based information systems. So, Patel will co-present an educational session at RSNA 2010, Nov. 28-Dec. 3 in Chicago, to give colleagues an overview of how PACS and other systems work and how information is exchanged, then explain cloud computing.

Learning of cloud computing is important for radiologists because while the technology is heavily used in teleradiology, it is slowly now expanding its presence in hospitals. Radiologists should know more about Web-based PACS so they can be more proactive in purchasing decisions, Patel believes. "Then they won't be charged incredible sums of money for traditional PACS, maintenance and upgrades."

Further, cloud computing makes it possible to do advanced radiology work at home for radiologists on call, Patel says. Today, most radiologists can only access JPEG image files from home. But cloud computing can turn a home PC into a PACS.

This is important not only because it enables radiologists to provide better service when working outside the hospital, but also because the time is coming when radiologists will commonly be remote employees and can work where they like, Patel notes. "You actually open up doors you may not think of."

The session, LL-INE1152-SUB, "An Overview of Cloud Computing and Virtualization Technology in Radiology: A Dummies Guide," is scheduled at 1 p.m. on Nov. 28. More information is available at

--Joseph Goedert


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