Writer's block

In a couple of weeks I'm headed off to Providence, RI to attend the SIIM meeting and to give a talk there.

The SIIM people encourage people who submit talks for the meeting to also submit a companion paper for publication in JDI. I've been working on mine for the last couple of months, but now I've reached that point where I can't think of what else to say. I know there's more I need to write about, but can't think of how to put it down. I know part of the problem is caused by the fact that the material is so familiar by now. Sometimes I can get through the block by re-reading everything again and pretending I'm looking at it for the first time. Another way I get a fresh perspective is to ask someone else to read the paper and comment. That's always a good way to get new ideas.

I'll let the paper stew in my head a little bit longer while I ruminate some more.

Here's the abstract for my paper:

The 11 year history of the PACS archive at the Medical University of South Carolina was used to investigate the impact of changes in technology for various modalities on PACS storage requirements.

A Unix shell script was used to perform queries against the PACS archive database to extract statistical information for the various modalities. During the time period investigated, major changes in imaging technologies were implemented, including shifts from single slice CT to dual/quad slice and on to multi-detector 16 and 64 slice Multi Detector Computed Tomography (MDCT).

The number of images stored on the PACS archive increased by over an order of magnitude (from 131000 per month to 1.7 million images per month), mostly from MR and CT studies. Total storage requirements increased by two orders of magnitude from 48 GB/month to 1.2 TB/month. Increases in PACS storage has been driven primarily by the introduction of MDCT and digital mammography, currently accounting for 47% and 17% of the total storage requirements at the expense of CR (down from 70% to 18% of the total).

Traditionally, PACS storage modeling has been driven by CR storage requirements. Current experience with our PACS has shown that this has shifted away from CR to CT, MR and digital mammography being the primary drivers behind increased PACS storage requirements. Knowing how different modalities impact PACS storage requirements is important to the archive planning process.

The ending for the abstract needs work. Not quite happy with it yet, but I usually leave the abstract for last anyway.