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Maimonides Medical Center

As an early adopter of PACS (picture archiving communications systems), Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, was among the first medical establishments to reap benefits from the technology. It was also among the first to run into its archiving challenges.

PACS gear digitally stores cardiology and radiology tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results, and other large files. Mark Moroses, director of technical services at Maimonides, says his group began using PACS seven years ago, making it a pioneer, even in the New York area.

"We went over from film to PACS in one shot. One day we were cutting film, the next day that was it -- we were completely PACS," Moroses says. "The project paid for itself in a year. Film is expensive."

Seven years later, Moroses realized he needed a better system for archiving the huge files created by PACS. The hospital installed PACS before digital archiving or UDO optical technology was available. Moroses' group was storing images on a DVD jukebox. Last year, they realized the DVD jukebox had become slow and unreliable, and it lacked RAID capabilities to prevent files from getting corrupted.

"Because it's a jukebox and has mechanical parts, it had a high failure rate because we were using it for things it wasn't meant for," he says. "It had the highest failure rate of all our systems. We went looking for spinning disk. The time it takes to pull an image from spinning disk is quicker than a jukebox by 40 to 50 seconds in some cases."

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