Vendor Neutral Archive and its Extraordinary Features

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VNA or Vendor Neutral Archive is a medical image storing technology that allows its users to access those images from any workstation, as its name suggests, it’s vendor-neutral. This advanced technology has some very useful features that make it so useful. While there are some features that are contentious, meaning that some consumers and vendors agree that all are fundamental but others disagree. After knowing what is vendor neutral archive, in this article, we discuss VNA’s features that are universally agreed upon.

Supports Open Standards

This is probably the most significant, and useful feature of VNA. VNA supports open standards by decoupling the PACS and workstations at the archival layer. This makes accessing medical images and related information stored via VNA from any workstation and any vendor. You can access files stored via VNA from any device that supports VNA, regardless of the vendor.

Switching PACS Made Easy

One of the core features of VNA, Vendor Neutral Archive, is switching PACS without the hassle. Users usually change vendors every 3 to 5 years due to the oscillation of the features and quality of service of PACS. So, then those users need to take those images and related information to the new architecture without data loss, this task is hectic. VNA allows for better sustainability at the archive level, in spite of fast evolution and change at the higher application-level.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that migrating from one vendor’s VNA to the other is easy or trivial, it’s less frequent and far easier than it was like switching PACS before VNA.

DICOM Migration

DICOM migration a complicated method because DICOM files contain components that have to be updated correctly. DICOM headers contain metadata, e.g. patient identification details. Headers are also attached to each of the images. When someone migrates from a PACS to a VNA, it has to go through a DICOM migration to basically reset the images, headers, pointers, etc. to make sure that the information provided is correct.

Adopting a VNA, that someone now just has to perform a DICOM migration only once, because after that the VNA itself will make all updates necessary. Performing a DICOM migration from one PACS to another will not guarantee that an additional migration won’t be needed in the future but VNA makes sure that the extra step is not needed.

Non-DICOM Migration

VNAs can also perform non-DICOM migration. A fully featured VNA has the capability to transcode any single instance into another form depending on what the requesting system requires. Non-DICOM means moving the raw database and image sets of the old archives. DICOM archive stores only DICOM objects, on the other hand, VNA stores DICOM objects as well as non-DICOM objects e.g.  from.pdf, scanned documents, etc.

Conclusion

While organizations can still use PACS, but if they want to save money and time, VNA is a really good option for them to choose. VNA has scalability that’s very helpful when dealing with an immense amount of medical data.

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