Cloud Computing: RAD-AID Elevates LFHC’s Diagnostic Imaging

LFHC has taken a step “deep into the 21st century” with a new capability to store X-rays and other diagnostic images via cloud computing – thanks to the nonprofit RAD-AID organization.

RAD-AID recently linked the hospital to its Friendship Cloud, which it formed in a partnership with Google Cloud, Ambra Health and Tribalco. LFHC is the first hospital to use the RAD-AID Friendship Cloud and has already stored more than 14,000 patient files on it – making the hospital’s patient care more efficient and effective.

RAD-AID introduced LFHC to digital imaging with the installation of its Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) more than a year ago. PACS enables doctors and nurses to view X-rays, CT scans and ultrasound images on computer screens and store them on a computer’s hard drive at the hospital. The system allows comparisons between old and new images for a patient, helping doctors track a patient’s progress.

Friendship Cloud enables the staff to store an unlimited number of digital diagnostic images on a secure internet platform. At the moment, LFHC is using Friendship as back-up storage for its diagnostic images. The hospital is sharing the system with the adjacent Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital.

Viewing X-rays on a lightbox screen has been rendered all but obsolete by digital imaging.

The system uses an innovative compact server that doesn’t require the cool temperatures of an air-conditioned room. RAD-AID engineers and partners adapted the server to create Friendship Cloud for running advanced health-care software and PACS, making digital health accessible for hospitals in remote low-resource conditions.

“What we’ve done here is a compact server with access to the cloud,” said RAD-AID President and CEO Dr. Dan Mollura in a video about the project. “Retrieving from the cloud gives you that power of comparison so you can see how things are improving (for the patient) or make course corrections if something needs to be changed.”

The million-dollar PACS and Friendship system was donated to LFHC by RAD-AID, which also helped to train staff in how to get the most out of the system.

The system gives LFHC an incredibly important diagnostic tool used by hospitals in technologically advanced countries.

“In the long-term game, this brings LFHC deep into 21st century,” said Dr. Mollura.

In addition to Laos, RAD-AID has installed PACS to hospitals in Nicaragua, Ghana, Guyana, Nepal, Ethiopia and Guatemala.

RAD-AID has been instrumental in building the diagnostic imaging department at LFHC. Friends Without A Border presented its Healing Asia Award to RAD-AID in 2017.

Video of Google Cloud and RAD-AID at LFHC can be viewed here.