How Medical Data Storage Works?

There was a time when the medical data was documented and stored in form of files and papers. But now this has become a problem to storage such massive and increasing imaging and other medical data. The hospitals and clinics work 24/7 that means there are hundreds of imaging files and other medical data every single day. The healthcare sector has some storage management facilities but the increasing data size is straining these facilities.

The radiology department in hospitals is responsible for all the images and other data like scans, MRI files, X-rays, CT Scans and others. They use an MRI viewer online but this is not enough. On departmental level this doesn’t suffice so they need enterprise level tools and storage management systems for the medical data.

For data storage, the hospitals have IT departments. They require software, hardware, infrastructure, servers as well as funding to manage and support the data storage related software and hardware. Additionally, they need a backup for any disaster to save and store the important medical data. This can never be done by a single hospital and they can’t manage it. Rather, there be a long-term plan that can be outsourced.

Check out the MRI viewer online – works with all DICOM files.

Types of Medical Data

The medical data is divided into two types on the basis after data is stored and managed.  Variable content file or VCF is the data that will not change once it managed and stored. VCF makes less than 5% of the all radiology data and includes the radiology information system (RIS) and the demographic database of the picture archiving and communications system (PACS).

The other type of medical data is fixed content file or FCF. It includes imaging, communication in medicine, mages, structured reports and waveforms that comprise 95% or more of the stored radiology data. There are always four to two copies of FCF data that are stored for records and management.

Likewise, for storing the data of MRI and CT-Scan, DICOM files are used. You can use a MRI viewer online to read those files.

Storage Management System

The enterprise level storage management system for medical data is called PHI or protected health information. This can be considered as a central system which allows all hospitals and health departments to store access the data using the free online viewer. Every department has to comply the functional as well as security requirements of PHI. PHI gives access to IT departments of health sector as well as the authorized users.


An enterprise level storage management system offers the following capabilities.

  1. Clinical requirements of every application is met like availability and accessibility of the data
  2. It ensures the durability and longevity of the PHI like for long the data will be available
  3. The storage management system should be scalable to meet the current and future storage requirements for the medical data
  4. It complies with the HIPAA rules regarding access control, data integrity, audit requirements and disaster recovery of PHI.

The medical data in the storage system is stored for a long period of time. Some data is removed or deleted after 90 days to 2 years whereas other data is kept for 3-6 years. In some cases, the important medical data is retained for 8-10 years and depending upon the scalability of the system.