BU Leaders in MOC and RedHat Help Boston Children’s Hospital Improve Patient Outcomes
Orran Krieger, BU lead on the Massachusetts Open Cloud (MOC), has seen open cloud services provide advantageous opportunities for companies to innovate and manage at the infrastructure level. While Krieger acknowledges the heavy financial burden of a private cloud on not-for-profit universities, with the cost of purchasing their own equipment being much lower than the large capital investment required to rent servers at sufficient scale, it is ultimately cases such as the radiology program at the Boston Children’s Hospital—who used these services to achieve quicker response times for children’s medical imaging—that continue to provide compelling reasons to build on a hybrid cloud.
The project, known as the ChRIS Research Integration Service, uses Red Hat technologies on the Mass Open Cloud to provide users with a medical imaging platform, overcoming the barrier that often stands between developers and users who need quick access to medical tools but do not have a high level of technical knowledge. Hugh Brock, director of the Boston University Red Hat Collaboratory, managed getting Red Hat’s technologies ready for rapid image processing through intensive computing on the Mass Open Cloud. Now, using the Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes container platform, users can install ChRIS fully stocked with all of the required software and start processing medical images in sometimes a life-saving matter of minutes instead of hours.
Brock explains Red Hat’s ongoing mission to make software more consumable for the medical development community, as many users who work on medical image processing want to test their stuff running on the cloud instead of personal hardware, and would thus benefit from using the Mass Open Cloud and the container infrastructure software Red Hat OpenShift enables.
“If you have to pay a large cloud for all of the access to the medical data that they have scooped up,” Brock says, “then you cut out the possibilities of third parties getting access to data that is speculative that they may not want to be paying for.”
Moving forward, Brock says the team plans on not only improving the speed of image processing codes on Red Hat’s cloud software, but also implementing group computation that would include different sets of medical data, such as encrypted secure data without full access, leveraging the availability of open data in imagery, but still ensuring privacy measures are in place.