Medical industry struggles with PACS data leaks

Medical industry struggles with PACS data leaks

In the medical world, sharing patient data between organizations and specialists has always been an issue. X-Rays, notes, CT scans, and any other data or related files have always existed and been shared in their physical forms (slides, paperwork).

When a patient needed to take results of a test to another practice for a second opinion or to a specialist for a more detailed look, it would require them to get copies of the documents and physically deliver them to the receiving specialists. Even with the introduction of computers into the equation, this manual delivery in some cases still remains common practice today.

In the medical field, data isn’t stored and accessed in the same way that it is in governments and private businesses. There is no central repository for a doctor to see the history of a patient, as there would be for a police officer accessing the criminal history of a given citizen or vehicle. Because of this, even with the digitization of records, sharing data has remained a problem.

The medical industry has stayed a decade behind the rest of the modern world when it comes to information sharing and technology. Doctors took some of their first steps into the tech world by digitizing images into a format called DICOM. But even with these digital formats, it still was, and sometimes still is, necessary for a patient to bring a CD with data to another specialist for analysis.

Keeping with the tradition of staying 10 years behind, only recently has this digital data been stored and shared in an accessible way. What we see today is individual practices hosting patient medical data on private and often in-house systems called PACS servers. These servers are brought online into the pu ..

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