Grid computing in the healthcare industry allows the storage of a vast amount of data using large processing power providing a virtual platform. This information will not be saved on the hard drive of the computer in a hospital, but instead restored and retrieved over several servers at the same time that can be located across the globe. Data will be available to anyone globally who has access to this without extra storage or applications. Medical staff can have access to patient’s records and the information can be shared between the staff and doctors who have been granted permission. Medical imaging processing and 3D rendering both use large computing power which the grid can provide This can be used as a training, educating or diagnostics exercise.
Advantages of Grid Computing It is an inexpensive, scalable access to information, which can be retrieved fast with quick results being achieved, if medical staff are unsure of the diagnostics they can access the remote library database via grid computing to verify if there are similar images to confirm their results. Grid computing will help improve the quality of diagnostics by encouraging more sharing of information.
Microsoft’s .net system is set to revolutionise the healthcare industry, it will enable disparate medical departments, community healthcare sites and hospitals to communicate vital information such as patient data over simple web-enabled devices. The days of paper copies and courier delivered X-ray acetates will be over. A simple click on a hand-held device or web-enabled terminal will reveal all the data that is required for a patient, be it simple facts such as name and date of birth or more complex data like drug regimes or medical history.
Key to the .net strategy is the use of XML (Extensible Markup Language). XML gives programmers the ability to be able to securely transfer data in a standard format between applications in the .net suite. However, the real beauty of the combination of XML and .net is that existing software can still be used. Simple translation programs can convert data from one piece of software into XML, transmit the data and then re-translate it into another format to be read by a second piece of software. No new networks need to be installed, everything runs over the Internet. There are already many XML protocols in place to support healthcare (such as DocScope), this means that it will not be necessary to develop a large number of new programs.
Advantages of .NET and XML This combination of programming language and software is however not limited to patient data. The system can be used for storing and transmitting any sort of information. Keeping control of drug inventories can be made easier, ordering medical equipment from suppliers can be made seamless, all that is required is an internet terminal and the correct .net and XML combination. Efficient use and storage of data is one of today’s major challenges.
The consequences of the use of incorrect data can be both harmful to the health of the patient and expensive for the Hospital. The combination of .net and XML will not only simplify the access to patient data but will secure consistency and help combat mistakes in dispensing whilst opening up avenues for improving the efficacy of capital spend. The below diagram shows a patients file stored in XML `format. XML presents the patients data on the screen. Currently the health industry is spending more money developing advance management system information’s and tools to utilise the advance technology that is available.