CHAPTER 8

Communications and Networking

This chapter presents three communication and network topics related to PACS. First is provided basic background knowledge on communication architecture and network systems (Sections 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3). The discussion next turns to PACS network design and considers some examples (Sections 8.4 and 8.5). Last covered are the emerging network technologies, Internet 2, wireless, and scalable network, all of which may benefit and change future PACS operations (Sections 8.6, 8.7, and 8.8). Figure 8.1 repeats Figure 1.3 to show the position of this chapter with relation to other chapters of Part II. Figure 8.2 repeats Figure 1.2 to emphasize the importance of communications and networks in PACS components and other healthcare information systems interconnection.

8.1 BACKGROUND

8.1.1 Terminology

Communication by way of media involves the transmission of data and information from one place to another. The media may be bound (cables) or unbound (broadcast, wireless). Analog communication systems encode data into some continuum (video) of signal (voltage) levels. Digital systems encode the information into two discrete states (“0” and “1”) and rely on the collection of these binary states to form meaningful data and information. Wireless communication is the transfer of information over a distance without the use of wires. Advancements in wireless communication (wireless) technology over the past several years have altered the classic conception of ...

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