Cloud Computing for Cytopathologists

Cloud Computing for Cytopathologists

Abraham Pouliakis (University of Athens, Greece), Stavros Archondakis (401 Military Hospital, Greece), Efrossyni Karakitsou (National Technical University of Athens, Greece) and Petros Karakitsos (University of Athens, Greece)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6539-2.ch060

Abstract

Cloud computing is changing the way enterprises, institutions, and people understand, perceive, and use current software systems. Cloud computing is an innovative concept of creating a computer grid using the Internet facilities aiming at the shared use of resources such as computer software and hardware. Cloud-based system architectures provide many advantages in terms of scalability, maintainability, and massive data processing. By means of cloud computing technology, cytopathologists can efficiently manage imaging units by using the latest software and hardware available without having to pay for it at non-affordable prices. Cloud computing systems used by cytopathology departments can function on public, private, hybrid, or community models. Using cloud applications, infrastructure, storage services, and processing power, cytopathology laboratories can avoid huge spending on maintenance of costly applications and on image storage and sharing. Cloud computing allows imaging flexibility and may be used for creating a virtual mobile office. Security and privacy issues have to be addressed in order to ensure Cloud computing wide implementation in the near future. Nowadays, cloud computing is not widely used for the various tasks related to cytopathology; however, there are numerous fields for which it can be applied. The envisioned advantages for the everyday practice in laboratories' workflow and eventually for the patients are significant. This is explored in this chapter.
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Background

A cloud system is actually a network of computer servers offered under demand as a service. The system is designed to be flexible, scalable, secure and robust. Cloud systems usually provide software, data access, and data storage services provided by this interconnected grid of computers that permits sharing of resources through the Internet and works on a pay-per-use model.

Cloud systems are categorized into three different groups according to the offered service type:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which means offering hardware, storage and physical devices over the Internet.

  • Software as a Service (SaaS), which means offering software and hosted applications over the Internet.

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS), which means offering the capability to deploy applications created using programming languages, libraries, services, and tools owned and supported by the provider.

For cloud computing, the user/consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure, but has control over the deployed applications. Clouds, according to their location of hosting, may be public, private, hybrid, and community, especially adapted to the medical field:

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