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First adopter experience of cloud-based solution for oncology

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Dr Krishna Komanduri, Adjunct Professor of Medical Physics, University of Pittsburgh & Director, CTSI, addressed the audience and shared his experience of adopting a cloud-based solution for oncology. He explained how they have hosted a software on the cloud and gave a user perspective on its benefits in improving patient care and cost savings. He also spoke on the role of technology and innovation for quality cancer care. Speaking on the role of technology providers in healthcare he also cited examples of how meaningful partnerships with them can have significant benefits in terms of outcomes for hospital providers.

He said, “Varian Medical Systems is one of major providers of radiation therapy equipment. We tested the solution extensively and signed the deal with Varian and Sify, so that 11 of our hospitals that we are going to bring in this country will have a single data base for all medical records.”

Explaining the importance and need of cloud-based solutions in radiation therapy, he said that currently about 50 to 60 per cent of cancer patients are treated with radiation. Therefore, there is a need to move large volumes of data frequently for daily treatment constantly without delays. Dr Komanduri explained that this was a major rationale for adopting cloud-based solutions, as with their aid, large amount of data can be sent to the machines for the radiation therapy.

Then, he spoke on the key differentiators offered by Varian’s new radiation oncology solution – ARIA, Oncology Information System, EMR, Patient Portal, Tumor Board etc on SaaS model. The solution helps the hospital to focus more on patients and less on IT. Varian’s solution will have multiple versions of ARIA ready on private cloud for required upgrades by customers along with quick readiness of infrastructure. Availability of patient data and images across different hospitals for better treatment of patients. Radiation planning sessions for all patients can be done by an expert remotely. It has a centralised data bank for knowledge-guided oncology and creates a platform for a virtual tumour board.

He also pointed out that the government too is adopting technology in a big way to revolutionise cancer care. It has come-up with a scheme in association with Tata Memorial hospital to link all the cancer centres. This, in turn, will help the centers to have a well-functioning, comprehensive database, to connect and consult with other centers and will be able to get comprehensive cancer registry.

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