Dell to buy medical cloud archiving company

InSite expands Dell's reach into the medical IT services market

Expanding its reach into the medical IT services market, Dell announced Wednesday that it has agreed to buy medical archive services company InSite One Inc.

Dell did not disclose the finances behind the deal.

InSite One is a private company based in Wallingford, Conn., with about 40 employees. The company offers cloud-based healthcare applications that archive medical records and share images.

Last year, Dell paid $3.9 billion to acquire IT services giant Perot Systems, which focuses on the government and healthcare sectors.

InSite's cloud-based archive software and storage services will be complementary to Dell's Unified Clinical Archive service. Combined, the products will offer hospital and private-practice customers the ability to access and share images regardless of the medical applications they have employed, Dell said in a statement.

The biggest difference between Dell's existing Unified Clinical Archiving product and InSite One's service is the cloud. Dell's product is an on-premises, vendor-neutral archiving application. With InSite One, Dell is adding a cloud-based, vendor-neutral archiving service to its portfolio to give customers a choice of either on-premises archiving or cloud-based, hosted archiving -- or a combination of the two.

"Our customers have been asking for a cloud-based archiving model," a Dell spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail response to Computerworld. "InSite One has the only cloud-based archiving solution in the industry today. They also provide the services that make the transition to the cloud easier for customers."

InSite's storage-as-a-service product archives digital content as objects, meaning it stores information and the metadata describing it together so that it can be indexed and retrieved regardless of where it is stored in a virtualized, grid-based infrastructure.

InSite's customers use the service on a subscription or pay-as-you-go basis. Dell said its strategy is to provide its customers with "open and scalable solutions with deployment options that dramatically reduce the complexity and cost of storage and data management."

"Our customers have told us that managing the growing demands of both digital images and patient records is one of their greatest concerns," James Coffin, vice president of Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences, said in a statement. "We are dramatically simplifying archiving and retention of clinical data, both medical images and electronic medical records. This ... actually simplifies access to the information when it's needed by clinicians."

Dell said InSite's data migration and recovery/backup services will also simplify the transition to the cloud for customers and ensure that information is managed safely and securely.

InSite said it manages nearly 55 million clinical documents and more than 3.6 billion medical images and supports almost 800 clinical sites. InSite's cloud archival service supports all brands of picture archiving and communications system (PACS) and data sources. InSite's service also gives clinicians Web-based access to radiological images and provides rapid indexing and sharing of data across disparate systems, according to the company's Web site.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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