Which media are most likely to solve the archival problem?
The clinical application of quantitative methods for coronary arteriography remains limited, due in large part to the absence of a suitable replacement for cinefilm as the procedure record. The extension to the clinical environment of the validated objective methods which have found such widespread acceptance in clinical research studies is difficult to implement if the time-consuming and variable process for digitization of selected cinefilm frames is required. In addition, the complete integration of the angiographic procedure record with other patient records and procedures stored in a digital data format requires that the angiographic data eventually be converted to a digital format as well. Replacement of cinefilm requires that the media chosen for the task provide at least the same capabilities and preferably improved functions as those provided by cinefilm as a display, transport, and archival media. The demanding set of requirements imposed on the replacement options include high capacity, high acquisition rate, high transfer rate, application in a distributed environment, portability between institutions, and low expense. A true digital solution should also provide immediate access to the results of the angiographic procedure, transfer of image data over digital networks, multiple-user viewing capability, and quantitative analysis on a routine basis for all patients. In fact, a single media may not provide all the capabilities listed above but, rather, different media may need to be used for specialized tasks, i.e. the solution for archival may not be the same that will be employed as the portable patient record. Separation of the archival function from the acquisition/display and portable transfer functions increases the likelihood that cinefilm can be replaced in the imminent future by reducing the demands on a single media. Among the archival options available today are: (1) magnetic disks; (2) analog laser optical disks; (3) digital laser optical disks; (4) digital file-based magnetic tape; (5) digital video magnetic tape. In evaluating each of these alternatives, an accounting is required of how each meets the archival requirements along with an approximate breakdown of cost and readiness for implementation as a clinical solution today.
Cusma, JT; Fortin, DF; Spero, LA; Groshong, BR; Bashore, TM
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