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How to Access Real-time Data with High Confidence

April 12, 2014
at 5:44 am PST

Doctors at Carilion Clinic, a hospital in southwest Virginia, are getting a productivity boost with their medical applications. They can complete their cardiology study a lot faster than before because they can review real-time diagnostic imaging files much faster and more reliably.

You see, real-time data is getting a lot of attention in the industry lately. Using analytics and real-time data effectively, people can discover hidden patterns and new clues for better and more timely decisions. This is very exciting. But first thing first. People often have to answer this challenging question: is the captured data, which is often complex and huge in size, dependable enough to begin with?

As an example, imagine that you were having a critical video conversation with a business partner. You were going to make a major decision based on the outcome of this conversation. Would you be confident enough with your decision if the voice and the image stream were messed up as seen below on the left? And would your confidence level be hugely boosted when the voice was clear and the image was sharp as seen on the right?

Carilion case study

Now imagine again that you were a cardiologist and you were going to make a major decision for your patient based on the cardiology test that was taken in real-time. Would you be confident enough with your decision if the image was totally messed up? And would your confidence level be hugely boosted when the image was as sharp as it could be?

This is the actual experience of the doctors at Carilion Clinic. They need to make medical decisions based on patient cardiology test results. A single patient cardiology study can take more than a gigabit of data. It puts a lot of burden on the network. Michael Smith, director of Network Services at Carilion Clinic, describes the challenges this way: “Multiply that by the dozens of doctors reviewing diagnostic imaging files over the network on an hourly basis, and you begin to understand the traffic flow demands”. Furthermore, Smith says, “without QoS, dropped packets can introduce jitter to 3D cardiac images streamed to the desktop.

By successfully deploying the Cisco Catalyst 3850 switches, Carilion Clinic has achieved significant application perforce improvements. Cisco Catalyst 3850 switches deliver higher dedicated bandwidth to desktops with further enhancement of packet tagging and prioritizing imaging traffic, helping to produce clearer jitter-free streaming images.

“Because response time is 10 times faster, users immediately notice the difference when they access applications over the network; the larger the file, the more dramatic the impact. It’s great to get the kind of positive feedback we’re hearing from the physicians.” says Smith.

Read the entire Carilion Clinic case study to learn more on how the state-of-the-art Cisco Catalyst 3850 switches help raise the confidence level when accessing real-time diagnostic imaging data!

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