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The Benefits of Transitioning to the Cloud for Medical Imaging

The landscape of PACS for medical imaging is transitioning from on-premise to cloud solutions. However, not all healthcare IT systems are ready to transition fully to the cloud. These organizations can benefit from a hybrid cloud approach, where a portion of their IT remains on-site while certain applications, such as backup and data recovery, are migrated to the cloud. Over time, many healthcare organizations migrate fully to the cloud to take advantage of the cloud’s cost savings and flexibility. This article is designed to inform IT staff and decision-makers of PACS about the available options for transitioning for the future. These options have significant benefits and cost savings over time. Let’s discover more!

Medical Imaging Cloud Models & Cloud Types

The medical imaging industry wrestles with the “cloud” term. Marketing departments across various PACS solutions providers adopt the term to fit their initiatives. We’ll offer the purest definition of the various cloud models and cloud types in the market for better understanding.

Cloud Models: Private, Public, and Hybrid

There are a number of differences between the cloud models:

The public cloud refers to resources (such as servers and storage) that are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider, such as Amazon Web Services, and delivered over the internet.

With a private cloud, the services and infrastructure are maintained by a PACS solutions partner, including Intelerad. In this model, while the hardware and software reside with the services provider, the servers, storage, and software are dedicated solely to one organization.

A hybrid cloud solution combines on-premise and public or private cloud services and storage. This is important for those medical imaging facilities that have invested heavily in their on-site PACS solutions. They can now benefit from cloud services and storage without losing out on their initial investment.

Cloud-Native PACS vs. Cloud-Engineered PACS

Now that we have differentiated public, private, and hybrid PACS, let’s take a look at how they differ in cloud types:

Cloud-engineered PACS is a term that defines software built initially on-site and then modified for the cloud.

Cloud-native PACS is also a term that refers to the truest form of cloud-enabled picture archive and communications systems. The software is designed from the ground up to function in the cloud versus software that has been created on-premise and adapted to the cloud. The advantages of cloud-native applications are the ability to scale up (or down) as needed automatically, data redundancy, data and resources reliability, and the ability for developers to build software solutions much faster, which can translate to cost savings. As a provider of cloud-native PACS, Intelerad offers this approach. Intelerad offers adaptive solutions for those organizations managing medical imaging that may not be prepared for a cloud-only approach. If you are a decision-maker in your organization looking to migrate some or all of your PACS to the cloud, consult a rep for a demonstration.

What is Intelerad Cloud?

Intelerad Cloud is a suite of software and hardware solutions designed to meet any medical imaging facility need. Each use case is unique and requires a tailored approach for integration and for maximizing the investment. Intelerad Cloud consists of the following solutions:

  1. Private Cloud (Hosting of IntelePACS + Clario)
  2. Private Cloud (Hosting of long-term image storage)
  3. Cloud LTA (Long-term archiving)
  4. Cloud DR (Disaster recovery)
  5. Enterprise VNA (Archiving, image exchange, plus Ambra patient portal)
  6. Patient Portal (Intelerad patient portal)


The benefits of Intelerad Cloud are many. Partnering with Intelerad readies your facility for the future of cloud medical imaging. The company offers reliability and performance, along with a simple cost model, which equates to cost savings.

In one case study, a client who invested in their on-premise PACS and then switched to an Intelerad Private Cloud will save USD 1.26 million over four years. This particular client scans more than 800K studies per year, with an expected 10-15% growth over the next four years. Furthermore, they have 55+ radiology centers in their network in addition to hundreds of referring physicians using their system and require 100% disaster recovery failover for business continuity.

Related: Benefits and disadvantages of cloud versus onsite PACS

Intelerad is a premier cloud evolution partner. Whether your facility requires an image exchange solution, on-premise PACS, hybrid cloud deployment, private or public native cloud, Intelerad can facilitate your needs.

#1 Image Exchange Solution

A massive network of exchange customers and tight integration with Epic, which allows for faster onboarding of new facilities.

Cloud VNA

Separate VNA from the clinical system, with excellent interoperability that’s vendor agnostic.

Cloud LTA for IntelePACS

Long-term cloud archiving that is highly scalable, reduces depot server footprint, and offers tight integration with IntelePACS.

Cloud DR for IntelePACS

Cloud disaster recovery solution is a cost-effective add-on for immutable copies of images. It’s highly scalable and eliminates the need for VM snapshots or tapes.

The Bottomline

Shifting towards the cloud is ideal for:

  • Facilities currently hosting their own PACS that require cost-effective expansion.
  • Those with high concern over downtime, business continuity, or disaster recovery.
  • Those concerned with supply chain issues.
  • Rapidly growing facilities.
  • Limited budgets.


As the medical imaging industry transitions to cloud solutions, decision-makers have a number of excellent technology options to choose from. Some facilities have invested heavily in on-premise PACS solutions, including software, hardware, staff, support, and more. However, with hybrid solutions, these facilities can rest assured that a critical portion of their operation can be transitioned to the cloud. This shift offers significant cost savings over time.

Hospitals can benefit from cloud software to provide high-quality backups of valuable PHI. Large health systems can benefit from secure and separate software to protect imaging and patient health information. Multi-site imaging centers can experience peace of mind in securing their referring physicians’ imaging in the cloud.

If your medical imaging facility seeks a cloud evolution partner, have a look at Intelerad Cloud solutions. Book a demo today with our sales team!