Medical imaging has improved so much over the last few decades and now it is in its all-time best. Medical images of today are of the highest resolution and the quality is spectacular. But, with great medical imaging technology comes the need for more space for huge file sizes of those images. This is where VNA or Vendor Neutral Archive comes into play. It’s an imaging data storage technology. Let’s find out what VNA is and why it really matters.
Vendor Neutral Archive Definition
Vendor Neutral Archive Definition is as the name suggests is a medical imaging technology in which medical images are stored or archived in a standard form and in a standard interface so that those image files can be accessed in a vendor-neutral manner by other systems. Here, the term “vendor neutrality” is indicated by the standard format and interface and how it can produce or consume those images by non-vendor specific devices.
The VNA was created with the goal to eradicate problems that were created by PACS- Picture Archiving and Communications System. PACS, while very efficient, is a vendor-specific medical image storing system. VNA solves this problem by being vendor-neutral, which means that images stored using VNA can be accessed from any workstation, irrespective of the vendor.
Why VNA Matters
With medical technology and imaging being so sophisticated and the Internet being so easy to access, radiologists and clinicians can store images quite easily but it becomes problematic when they have to use different vendors to access those images. Vendor Neutral Archive’s definition suggests that it is vendor-neutral and it allows the images to be stored and viewed in an integrated manner from different devices and locations.
This is a breakthrough technology and as per US FDA, it’s a class one medical device. Several tags are added when an image is stored in PACS, and this adding tags method varies from one vendor to another and thus the final image may or may not be compatible with other applications. What VNA does is it detaches the pure DICOM image from the surrounding fluff and hence making sure the image is compatible with every workstation.
What VNA Brings to the Table
VNA supports IHE-query, open standards, multiple departments, enterprise, and regional architecture. Vendor Neutral Archive VNA allows radiologists and clinicians to migrate from one vendor to the other without worrying about data loss.
VNA can perform “context management.” This term suggests the ability of VNAs to present data in a format that is different from the original stored format. VNA can be interfaced with RIS and/or HIS. VNA makes switching PACS easy. It increases efficiency and saves time and labor.
As mentioned earlier, VNA has changed the medical image storing technology. While using VNA, the focus is mainly on having back and archiving that will survive in the long run. Today, most vendors try to include a PACS VNA combination in a single software.