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Digitalizing Pathology with Reliable, Cost-Effective Storage

Isle of Wight NHS Trust
  • Challenge

    Introduce innovative medical imaging capabilities at St Mary’s Hospital Pathology Department to enhance patient services.
  • Solution

    Install resilient, highly available and easy-to-manage storage to ensure 24/7 availability of medical imaging.
  • Outcome

    Supports clinical decision-making with robust imaging services at an affordable price, boost sustainability and save on power and cooling costs.
INDUSTRY

Healthcare

Hardware

Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform E590

SOFTWARE

Hitachi TrueCopy®

SERVICES

Hitachi Professional Services

Isle of Wight NHS Trust
Customer Story Customer Story Customer Story

Challenge

Each year over 22,685 people are admitted to St Mary’s Hospital — a National Health Service (NHS) hospital run by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust. Many of these patients need specialist scans, biopsies and other clinical tests as part of their treatment. For clinicians, these tests are vital tools that help them diagnose and treat patients quickly and effectively.

To enhance clinical decision making across its services, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust set out to build a state-of-the-art imaging suite for its pathology department, based on a digital pathology solution from Sectra Medical. Delivering this project meant not only installing the new Sectra software, but also implementing a new storage infrastructure capable of storing and serving thousands of high-resolution medical images up to 30GB per file.

“Our NHS healthcare services run 24/7 and clinicians need fast access to medical imaging solutions and data to deliver the very best care,” says Jake Gully, Digital Operations Manager at Isle of Wight NHS Trust. “So, the storage and network underpinning our infrastructure is absolutely mission-critical. Without highly available, resilient and responsive infrastructure, we wouldn’t be able to get the full value from our investment in digital pathology.”

To achieve high availability, the NHS Trust looked for a storage solution that could withstand unplanned outages caused by hardware faults, software issues, or even cyberattacks. With digital transformation in the healthcare industry accelerating at a rapid pace, the Trust was also keen to build a future-proof infrastructure that could take advantage of these fast developments.

“Artificial Intelligence [AI] and big data analysis hold the potential to help clinicians enhance productivity and efficiency,” continues Jake Gully. “With this in mind, we looked to find a technology vendor that could not only meet our storage needs today, but also help us drive innovation in the future.”

From Customer Testimonial
Customer Testimonial

Emerging technologies such as AI and automation will play a huge role in the future of healthcare. With Hitachi solutions as the foundation for our medical imaging platform, we’re well equipped to explore how we can apply these technological innovations to our healthcare services.

Jake Gully

Digital Operations Manager
Isle of Wight NHS Trust

Solution

After exploring a wide range of storage solutions, Isle of Wight NHS Trust selected the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) E590 platform to provide a solid foundation for its new digital pathology solutions. 

“The Hitachi VSP E590 exceeded every single one of the specifications that we set out in our request for proposal (RFP),” continues Jake Gully. “And unlike many other storage solutions, Hitachi was able to support synchronous replication over iSCSI — the main SAN protocol we use across all our hospital systems. Most of all, Hitachi VSP E590 offers excellent performance, availability and value for money. Its energy efficiency reduces our operational costs and aligns with our goals for sustainability too.”

Isle of Wight NHS Trust worked closely with Hitachi to establish an architecture that was perfectly suited to the NHS Trust’s needs. For added resiliency, the organization chose a design that incorporated Hitachi TrueCopy® to support synchronous active-passive data replication between two data centers on the island.

Jake Gully reflects: “The level of service from Hitachi has been outstanding. We ran detailed on-site workshops where they helped us to build a system that could meet our physical requirements as well as our technical specifications. They went above and beyond to design a truly resilient architecture and ensure that we could replicate all of our imaging data and fail over automatically, if we ever need to. And the after-sales support has been just as good: we’re still in contact with their team on a regular basis as we work through the final details of the software implementation with Sectra and get ready to go-live.”

To streamline the management of the storage infrastructure, Isle of Wight NHS Trust also implemented Hitachi Ops Center Administrator, Analyzer and Protector. “Hitachi’s state-of-the-art storage management software will make life so much easier for our IT team,” says Jake Gully. “With Hitachi Ops Center we have a rich set of tools that enable us to manage and provision arrays, protect our data with automated replication and failover, and gain deep insights into storage utilization to support future expansion. Plus, with Hitachi Ops Center Automator, we have the potential for all kinds of time-saving automation in the future.”

Customer Testimonial

Hitachi VSP E590 delivers exceptional value. We’ve calculated the power and cooling costs over five years, and the Hitachi solution was 9% more cost-effective than the other hybrid storage systems we considered.

Jake Gully Digital Operations Manager
Isle of Wight NHS Trust

Outcome

Isle of Wight NHS Trust is currently working on finalizing the installation of the Sectra software that will power its Pathology Department’s new imaging capabilities. With plans to go-live in the coming months, the NHS Trust anticipates that its investment in these new digital pathology solutions will help to enhance patient care while also delivering value to taxpayers.

“As a publicly funded organization, we’re always looking to enhance our solutions without increasing our costs,” says Jake Gully. “Hitachi VSP E590 delivers exceptional value. We’ve calculated the power and cooling costs over five years, and the Hitachi solution was 9% more cost-effective than the other hybrid storage systems we considered. And by reducing our energy consumption throughout the lifetime of the storage, we’ll improve sustainability too.”

By equipping clinicians with cutting-edge medical imaging solutions supported by Hitachi infrastructure, Isle of Wight NHS Trust paves the way for even more efficient patient services. “When we go live with our new solutions, clinicians will have instant access to incredibly detailed medical images. Ultimately, this should help improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis and potentially lead to better outcomes for patients.”

Looking ahead, Isle of Wight NHS Trust is keen to explore how AI, automation and data analysis can support key processes across the Pathology Department. “ Emerging technologies such as AI and automation will play a huge role in the future of healthcare,” explains Jake Gully. “With Hitachi, we have a strong data foundation we can build on to create new innovations that will elevate patient care.”

Data Infrastructure Sustainability Report - Download Now

Highly available, cost-effective storage

Hitachi storage solutions empower Isle of Wight NHS Trust to keep pathology imaging services running 24/7, while reducing operational costs.

100% data replicated in real time.

9% reduction in power and cooling costs.

about

Isle of Wight NHS Trust

Established in 2012, Isle of Wight NHS Trust provides health services to a population of 140,000 residents and visitors. Serving all the healthcare needs of its island community, the Trust is the only fully integrated acute, community, mental health and ambulance care service in England.
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