AT&T and Accenture apply cloud to medical imaging

Not to be outdone by Internet-based cloud computing giants, traditional telecom service providers are pushing into the space and leveraging their reputations for reliability and scalability to make an impression with corporate enterprises. Just this week, AT&T (NYSE: T) announced that it had partnered with Accenture (NYSE: ACN) on a cloud-based imaging service for the healthcare industry. The Accenture Medical Imaging Solution lets hospitals and their staffs access and share medical images in the cloud.

AT&T had previously announced that it was targeting cloud services at medical imaging and information management (MIMM) applications. The telco giant announced its pay-as-you-go MIMM cloud service over the summer, and with Accenture announced the new imaging offering this week at the Radiological Society of North America conference in Chicago.

According to eWeek, AT&T will host the new offering in two of its 36 data centers. The images accessed through the service include CAT scans, MRIs and X-rays, and putting them in the cloud will make them more available on a less expensive basis to more healthcare centers, including hospitals in rural areas. According to data from Accenture, about 73 percent of health care organizations overall plan to store medical images in the cloud.

The partnership between AT&T and Accenture is a demonstration of just one of the ways carriers are pursuing cloud services. Acquisition also have become more frequent in the cloud sector, and another large telco, Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), made its mark on that trend by acquiring Terremark. You can bet we'll see more cloud activity by traditional telcos as 2012 rolls around.

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