Novarad has seen a marked increase in the number of customers exploring the addition of Breast Tomosynthesis (Tomo) to their imaging services. Since part of this strategic planning should involve Novarad and the expansion of its 7-year imaging archive(s), we have written this brief article to assist your planning efforts.
Here are three items to consider as a Novarad customer adding Tomo.
- Tomosynthesis studies hog image archives. Even when compressed, a Tomo study will require a lot of space, when compared to some other modalities. According to Hologic’s rule of thumb for Tomo study file sizes, the average 3:1 lossless compressed size of a Tomo study is approximately 400 MB on average (influenced by the end number of images in the study). Based on this model, here is a quick example: Assume your facility performs 50 Tomo studies each month – that’s nearly ~1.7 TB compressed in a 7-year archive. Now, multiple this by the number of redundant PACS archives…
- Novarad archive expansion is typically multiplied by 3. When Novarad adds storage to accommodate a customer’s additional new modalities, we have to expand storage on the Primary Server, Secondary Server, and also at the Novarad Data Center, where we provide disaster recovery backup of images for those with our offsite DR service. The point is that the math example from #1 above would be multiplied by 3 (or 2 without disaster recovery), when Novarad quotes the archive expansion.
- Verify the Tomo modality is compressing images before sending to NovaPACS. This is fairly basic, as virtually all modalities should compress images before uploading to the PACS system. If there is any doubt, double-check with your modality vendor to make this change. When these big studies are sent to the archive uncompressed, the effect is that storage costs can multiply.
For those considering Tomo, please reach out to Novarad so we can join your planning process.
For further reading about the cost-effectiveness and many benefits of tomosynthesis for breast screening, there are many resources available to you. Here are two links Novarad has identified for some quick reading.