Carestream Health, formerly Kodak Health, has announced that 37 privately owned French medical facilities are now using its Hosted Information Management (HIM) system, a pay-as-you-go system for remote archiving, storage and image sharing.

HIM is one of a number of eHealth Managed Services from Carestream Health designed to archive, share and distribute medical data more cost effectively and efficiently.

The company says that the contracts with the French customers will result in the annual storage of approximately 1 million imaging studies.

Customers range from individual imaging centres such as Centre Duroc in Paris to GCN St. Vincent, which has eight imaging centres and clinics around Rennes in the Ouest Region of France.

The HIM service from Carestream Health is aimed at hospitals and imaging centres choosing to manage the exponential growth of patient data by outsourcing for disaster recovery or multi site virtual archiving and workflow.

The services are based on a “pay as you go” model. According to Carestream this payment model is helping French healthcare providers overcome the need for high initial and ongoing costs of infrastructure, which it says represent the greatest barrier to healthcare IT adoption.

This led Carestream to develop the “Avenant 24” initiative, which offers financial incentives to private facilities in France implementing a digital archiving solution for radiology images.

“In Mammography, comparison with prior exams is essential to correctly interpret the evolution of anomalies,” said Dr Jean-Yves Seror, senologist at the Centre Duroc in Paris. “We are not IT specialists and were immediately interested in the HIM concept proposed by Carestream Health. The service meets our needs for efficient archiving of images, fast retrieval and access to priors and removes all the long-term financial and technical implications linked to maintaining an effective, dependable archiving system.”

Carestream Health’s remote archive architecture involves installation of a Data Access Point, which provides the interface between the site and the data centre and interaction with local systems through standard protocols and the web server.

The service is based on a GRID infrastructure that supports both local and remote storage and is powered by KODAK Versatile Intelligent Patient Archive (VIParchive) software, the leading radiology archiving platform that allows on site storage for quick access to data to be combined with off site storage at a data centre for protection, disaster recovery, data exchange and access.

Developed in Europe, the key advantages of Carestream Health’s remote archive services offer a flexible combination of on site and remote storage to meet existing workflows with on site storage ranging from a few days to several years. This model supports a virtual community with all sites connected, even where different PACS, modalities and workstations are operating

Authorised users can securely remote access even large studies using intelligent streaming for smooth transfer of images. Physicians can remotely view images from a data centre using a web portal.

"Increasingly hospitals and imaging centres facing storage, growth and obsolescence management see the value of Carestream Health taking responsibility for those issues,” said Pierre Yves Nectoux, European business manager, eHealth Managed Services, Carestream Health. “We are seeing rapid growth across Europe for our eHealth Managed Services as our healthcare customers see the benefits of risk free, secure, cost-effective and dependable solutions for managing the growing volume of patient data."