How Digithurst and Telepaxx built a secure and scalable radiology solution chain using AWS
Radiology centers face many challenges, like shortages in personnel and budget; interoperability issues between different IT systems and long-term storage of images; and strict laws and regulations regarding IT security and data protection. Granting fast and global access to medical image data for clinicians and radiologists poses a challenge to medical software providers, while exponentially increasing data volumes and the need for higher processing power require compute power to be scalable on demand.
Medical software development companies Digithurst and Telepaxx worked together to create an end-to-end cloud solution chain handling administration of patient data and their radiological scans; viewing and editing of scans; as well as long-term archiving. To develop a scalable, secure, and cost effective solution chain supporting further innovations, the companies turned to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud.
The Digithurst and Telepaxx journey to AWS
Digithurst and Telepaxx have been working together for years, offering innovative digital health solutions to clinics and radiology centers. Together, they pioneered the development of a cloud-based platform for storing, viewing, and sharing medical images and reports. In 2018, this platform, called HealthDataSpace, was migrated to AWS. Since September 2022, Digithurst delivered their first cloud-native solution—the medical image viewing and editing tool called teamVIEW web—with AWS.
Working with picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) solutions and offering vendor-neutral archiving, Telepaxx Medical Data provides medical image data management in Germany. The company enables hospitals and medical practices to archive and share images as well as diagnostic data in an audit-proof manner. In addition, it allows its customers to introduce novel digital tools such as artificial intelligence (AI)-based assistance systems in their workflow. Today, the company works with more than 600 clinics and radiology centers across Germany and manages more than 20 billion medical images. For over two decades, this medical data has been stored in on-premise data centers. Recently, taking modern market requirements such as quick data accessibility and cost efficiency into account, Telepaxx decided to offer their archiving product suite, called Telepaxx Medical Data Cloud (TMD Cloud), on AWS.
Optimizing storage costs and unlocking the value of data
To deal with the growing number of images, all three solutions— Telepaxx Medical Data Cloud, HealthDataSpace, and teamVIEW web—use highly available, cost efficient object storage from Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). Additionally, teamVIEW web uses compute instances and scaling on-demand from AWS.
Auto-scaling of cloud services enables these customers to process their patients’ data, only paying for the resources they actually use. With the fast restore capabilities of Amazon S3 in the TMD Cloud application, the local storage of end customers can be downsized significantly. Maintenance of such local storage and its related computing hardware becomes much more feasible and cost-effective. Due to the provided global and low latency access, data becomes an asset for customers. It opens the door for further analysis, AI capabilities, and makes fast data sharing with other healthcare professionals and researchers possible.
Server-side rendering of teamVIEW web hosted on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances allows for efficient processing of cloud-stored data, anywhere, anytime.
“Moving our services to AWS gives us the opportunity to use much smaller servers for our local data gateways. We need to keep a lot less data on premise, given fast access to data stored in the cloud. Even more importantly, it allows for a complete paradigm shift in our offering: instead of just ‘storing the data away,’ we can now make data easily accessible for cloud-based applications and all of that in a GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation]-compliant way,” said Tobias Anger, chief technology officer (CTO) at Telepaxx Medical Data.
Digithurst and Telepaxx’s cloud transition has also an immediate effect on patients’ healthcare. HealthDataSpace is helping make pre-examinations available immediately, while reducing errors and improving accuracy of diagnosis.
Benefits of AWS managed services and the AWS Cloud
teamVIEW web uses Amazon EC2 GPU instances to handle graphic-intensive image rendering work in the cloud. With Auto Scaling and Elastic Load Balancing, the solution scales the number of servers up and down dynamically depending on the load, and distributes the traffic between the rendering servers in different Availability Zones and web clients. Digithurst uses Amazon CloudWatch to monitor the use of the resources of each rendering server (e.g., available memory, CPU time, or bandwidth used).
The AWS-enabled Telepaxx Medical Data Cloud solution makes use of different storage classes of Amazon S3, moving data across different storage tiers based on requirements. Data that doesn’t need to be used right away is automatically passed to Amazon S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval storage class, which delivers the lowest-cost storage for long-lived data that is rarely accessed and requires retrieval in milliseconds. Using this class for archiving, files archived do not require any asynchronous retrieval process. Integrating Amazon S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval, the file handling was simplified dramatically, basically using the same retrieval mechanisms for both frequently accessed and archived files.
Improving security and compliance posture with the AWS Cloud
Healthcare data in Germany is subject to the GDPR, a regulatory framework for the European Union (EU) that poses constraints on data access and the sharing of electronic medical information as well as other federal state-specific patient data protection regulations.
As all AWS services can be used in compliance with GDPR, Digithurst and Telepaxx developed their products while adhering to regulations, encrypting data at rest and in transit.
“It has been a lot of fun learning new technologies with AWS and bringing our PACS to the cloud. Our radiology information system (RIS) is definitely the next product to move to AWS,” said Rainer Kasan, founder of both Digithurst and Telepaxx Medical Data.
For more information about the companies’ cloud journey and the digital healthcare market, visit Digithurst and Telepaxx, or follow them on LinkedIn: Digithurst LinkedIn page and Telepaxx LinkedIn page.
Are you curious how you can use cloud technology to optimize your workflows in healthcare, life sciences, and more? Reach out to AWS for help and more information.
Read more about AWS for healthcare:
- How KHUH built a long-term storage solution for medical image data with AWS
- Building a resilient and scalable clinical genomics analysis pipeline with AWS
- Predicting diabetic patient readmission using multi-model training on Amazon SageMaker Pipelines
- How to modernize legacy HL7 data in Amazon HealthLake
- Solving medical mysteries in the AWS Cloud: Medical data-sharing innovation through the Undiagnosed Diseases Network
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