South Africa’s mining sector faces difficulty when it comes to the legal responsibility of preserving employee medical records for 40 years. The large number of people employed in this sector, coupled with the required annual medical and ad-hoc examinations performed on each employee result in a considerable amount of data being created.
The move to digital radiology has alleviated the necessity of having to store warehouses full of xray film. However, digital radiology itself has presented a new set of challenges, namely; how to store the terabytes of medical data effectively and efficiently. As the volume of medical image data increases, normal storage and backup practice often results in data being moved to offsite document storage companies for archiving. Such solutions prohibit the historical data being immediately accessible to occupational health practitioners for comparison to new xrays.
The advent of cloud storage platforms has the potential to change the way mining companies store employee medical records. A cloud-based archive application retains all image data in a live, searchable environment, making images available in a matter of seconds.