In recent notes, I have begun to explore questions pertaining to whether lab software vendors will begin to provide professional services (i.e., consulting services) to hospital-based clinical labs in addition to software and hardware (see: Professional Services Divisions as Potential New Profit Centers for Pathology Vendors; Who Will Function as System Integrators for Mini-LIS-Networks?). Increasing emphasis on IT services is not unique in the lab world but occurring across the entire business sector. A recent article in the New York Times discussed the purchase by Xerox of a service outsourcing company and the larger implications of this trend (see: Xerox Buys Affiliated, Fueling Shift to Services). Below is an excerpt from it:
Although healthcare will be a laggard in adopting the cloud computing model, I suspect that lab computing will lead the way over other hospital computing units. The reason for this will be primarily the rapid adoption of digital pathology that I foresee occurring starting about now (see: Major Drivers for the Conversion to Digital Pathology in Teaching Programs). For a large pathology department, the storage requirements for deploying digital pathology services supported by a pathology PACS are enormous. It's only a matter of time before pathology departments, and the digital pathology companies supplying the scanners and software for whole slide imaging (WSL), come to recognize that that most cost-effective means to store digital images files will be in remote data centers under the cloud computing model.