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China Unicom Henan's One-Stop Cloud+Network Solution Accelerates the Smart Hospital Transformation of Henan Provincial People's Hospital

Henan Provincial People's Hospital uses the integrated image cloud service platform built on China Unicom Henan's end-to-end, one-stop cloud+network solution, paving the way for telemedicine and remote diagnosis. In the future, the hospital will introduce more innovative ICT technologies such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate its smart hospital transformation.

By Chen Fei, Huawei's Transmission Marketing Support Dept

Henan Provincial People's Hospital is a 115-year-old grade-A tertiary hospital that provides medical treatment for people in Henan, a highly-populated province in China. The hospital is committed to building a smart healthcare service system that connects multiple branches in different areas.

As early as 1997, Henan Provincial People's Hospital started exploring the construction of its IT systems. In 2010, the hospital integrated its outpatient and inpatient systems and launched an electronic medical record (EMR) system, forming management and clinical IT systems. Then, in 2016, the hospital started its smart hospital transformation by building an information integration platform centered on EMRs. After such continuous improvements to its medical information systems, medical data generated in the hospital is growing rapidly. In particular, image data accounts for over 80% of the total medical data. To optimize the data resource configuration, the hospital urgently needed a comprehensive, integrated image platform for cloud storage and disaster recovery of medical images.


Moving Medical Images to the Cloud Places Stringent Requirements on Network Bandwidth and Security

The picture archiving and communication system (PACS) is used to store medical images (including MRI, CT, ultrasound, X-ray, infrared, and microscope images) in digital form. The PACS must provide high transmission bandwidth so that images can be quickly accessed by authorized personnel when necessary. The PACS must also offer large storage capacity because the hospital now has about 230 TB of image data and will generate about 40 TB of data each year. To have a comprehensive understanding of a patient's illness, doctors in all imaging-related service departments must be able to view images of the patient in different periods through the integrated image cloud service platform. In addition, doctors must be able to open multiple image windows simultaneously for comparative analysis. To achieve this, the link bandwidth for accessing images on the cloud must be at least 1 Gbit/s.

The normal running of the hospital's service systems is closely related to people's livelihood. Given this, after the service systems are migrated to the cloud, their security and reliability must be ensured. Specifically, the medical image cloud must meet level-3 security protection standards of the healthcare industry, which are defined as follows according to China's Regulations on Classified Information Security Protection: "Under the unified security policy, the protection system must be able to withstand malicious attacks initiated by external organizations and threat sources that have abundant resources, and withstand major resource damage caused by severe natural disasters and other threats. The protection system must also be able to detect important security vulnerabilities and events, and quickly restore the majority of functions after the system is attacked." Therefore, Henan Provincial People's Hospital requires that the availability of the integrated image cloud platform be 99.95% or higher. That's equivalent to a total failure time of 262.8 minutes or less throughout the entire year.

China Unicom Henan's One-Stop Cloud+Network Solution Supports the Construction of an Integrated Image Cloud Service Platform

In response to the requirements of the hospital's integrated image cloud service platform, China Unicom Henan leverages its cloud+network advantages to offer an end-to-end, one-stop cloud+network solution.

  • Build a secure, reliable healthcare cloud platform: The healthcare cloud, built by China Unicom Henan based on China Unicom Wo Cloud, is located in the data center of Zhengzhou central plains base. The short distance between the healthcare cloud and the hospital effectively mitigates external interruption risks. In addition, the healthcare cloud leverages a number of redundancy, monitoring, and error correction technologies in terms of hardware, and implements security isolation in terms of software by setting zone-based firewalls.
  • Build high-bandwidth and high-security cloud private lines using packet enhanced OTN (PeOTN) technology: China Unicom Henan has built a medical image cloud private line with high bandwidth and security based on SD-OTN Premium Private Line for Government & Enterprise, provides cost-effective 1 Gbit/s link bandwidth for the hospital, and meets future expansion requirements. In addition, PeOTN is a type of hard pipe technology. Its hard isolation feature ensures absolute security of medical image services.
  • Use the CPE dual-uplink solution to ensure an E2E network availability of higher than 99.95%: OTN CPEs in SD-OTN Premium Private Line for Government & Enterprise use dual-uplink 1+1 route protection to provide independent redundant route protection for the medical image cloud private line, achieving a network availability of over 99.95%.
In recognition of its outstanding advantages, the one-stop cloud+network solution of China Unicom Henan was favored by Henan Provincial People's Hospital, helping the hospital migrate medical images to the cloud and improve its level of medical informatization.

Henan Provincial People's Hospital Accelerates Its Smart Hospital Transformation

After the integrated image cloud service platform is deployed, Henan Provincial People's Hospital will use the medical image cloud to implement E2E management of medical technology data and services, as well as clinical applications of 3D images, effectively improving diagnosis accuracy and efficiency.

Henan Provincial People's Hospital has been proactively implementing the Guidelines on Promoting the Construction and Development of Medical Alliances issued by the General Office of the State Council, giving full play to its leading role as a tertiary public hospital, and promoting the pilot of medical alliances. Currently, the hospital has constructed the Southeast Henan Branch (formally Xincai County People's Hospital) to form a close-knit medical alliance. The deployment of the integrated image cloud service platform will help the hospital remove information silos, promote image data sharing, and facilitate the development of Henan's medical alliances.

Meanwhile, the integrated image cloud service platform will pave the way for Henan Provincial People's Hospital to explore telemedicine and remote diagnosis. In the future, the hospital will introduce more innovative ICT technologies such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate its smart hospital transformation.