6 Considerations Before Monetizing Imaging Data

Monetizing Imaging Data


Let’s face it, we live in an era where data explodes around us daily.  In fact, we estimate that 328.77 million terabytes of data is generated daily.  Considering radiology annually generates over 74 million CT studies and 275 million conventional radiology procedures (and that’s not counting the other modalities), a considerable amount of imaging data is stored across many on-premises and cloud archives across the US.  However, beyond storing data for medical-legal purposes, what else can we do with all that data? Data has value and maybe you are considering methods to monetize your imaging data.

Healthcare organizations know their data (not just imaging data, but EHR, radiomics, genomic, and pathology data) provides significant value in clinical research and training Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms.  Some organizations sell their de-identified data as a new revenue source, while others choose to “wait-and-see” as they explore ethical and patient data security concerns. 

According to Gartner, Data Monetization is defined as the process of using data to obtain quantifiable economic benefit.  Data monetization is turning data into an economic asset to maximize efficiency, reduce costs, and increase business value.  To obtain organizational benefits while contributing to the advancement of medicine, how should one prepare their data for research, and what are the associated risks?

Data monetization is a lengthy topic that deserves a much more in-depth white paper. But in this month’s blog, we explore 6 considerations you should take before monetizing your imaging data.  Look for InsiteOne tips as read this blog and learn about a few of the factors that will impact your ability to maximize the data you choose to sell while providing optimal value.

Data Monetization Factor #1: Establish and define your business objectives to monetize data.

Before embarking on any new business venture, you need a sound business strategy.  You should decide if 1) this will be a one-time sale, 2) you will establish an on-going subscription-based service, or 3) you are looking for collaborative research partnerships.  These questions help shape the framework of how to market your data services to potential buyers.  After deciding if this is a one-time venture or an on-going service, determine how much data you have available (in other words, are your data sets large enough to sell).  Finally, understand where your data comes from, who “owns” that data (is it yours or does it come from a 3rd party source you do not own), and do you have the proper legal contracts in place to give you the right to sell that data.

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Developing your business strategy marks the initial and significant first step toward monetizing your data.  Defining what you want to achieve is just as important. While a clearly defined business strategy offers a roadmap for maximizing the impact of the data you sell, understanding the nature and volume of the data you have available is equally crucial.

Be sure to consider the value of the data your organization generates.  With a clear understanding of your data, be sure to study how other organizations that have achieved success in selling similar data sets, then take advantage established best practices and watch out for known pitfalls.  Finally, consider that your organization and the data they produce is not static. Your data production will evolve over time.  Incorporate long-term strategies focusing on growth and watch for new opportunities as you evolve in your data monetization initiatives.  

Data Monetization Factor #2: Establish robust data capture, governance, and standardization policies.

The value of data by itself is not worth as much as data that provides key insights or unique trends.  Data enriched with metadata (information about the data you have) provides more value to the data you are selling.  Complete data is better than incomplete data, and data that provides insight into something new, amplifies the value of your data.  To ensure your data is robust, establish early on specific capture, governance, and standardization protocols and priorities.  Standardizing and de-identifying your data is necessary for analysis (how data is organized and formatted).  Governance is the collection of processes, policies, roles, metrics, and standards that ensures an effective and efficient use of the information you are capturing.  Ensuring data is not missing and the metadata is accurate is just as important.

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Enriching your imaging data provides the most value. DICOM fields are complete and accurate is the most important first step. Providing EHR data further fills any gaps about a patient’s history not evident from the imaging data alone. Longitudinal patient imaging records enriched with EHR clinical data and key information from imaging reports is far superior to images alone.  Adding additional relevant information such as radiomics, pathology images, drug therapy and treatment data further enhances the value of your data.  Make sure duplicated data is removed, it’s free of statistical noise, and it’s de-identified (patient health information removed) to conform with HIPAA and legal guidelines.

Data Monetization Factor #3: Pay attention to data privacy and security.

Data privacy and security are extremely important when preparing your data for sale.  You must implement robust encryption techniques, access controls, and anonymization methodologies to protect sensitive patient and confidential information. Conduct regular audits and assessments to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and industry best practices.  Ensure data collection happens in adherence to existing compliance requirements, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU.

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The last thing any healthcare organization wants is a data breach. This impacts partner and patient trust and exposes your organization to significant penalties or lawsuits.  Data privacy and liability concerns deserve the attention of CIOs, CISOs, and legal teams from the outset. Legal teams should scrutinize and revise end-user license agreements (EULAs) and privacy policies concerning the data that will be available for monetization. They also need to negotiate rights to reformulate and redistribute data if your product is packaged with other companies’ data and they need to understand downstream customer agreements for data usage.

Data Monetization Factor #4: Ensure leadership support and alignment from the beginning.

Data monetization efforts should start from the top of your organization.  Developing the strategy, educating key stakeholders to the importance and value of selling your data, as well as the potential revenue streams that can be realized, needs top-line executive support.  Imaging and clinical data is generated by multiple departments, so establishing cross-team collaboration is essential and often needs to be driven from the top down. Collaboration across teams can prompt new ideas for data sharing, potential new revenue streams, or new services that could provide a competitive advantage.  Understanding organizational goals as it relates to data monetization ensures everyone is on the same page.

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Developing a culture where everyone is aligned with the same goals improves data monetization success.  If you are looking to advance outcomes for specific diseases and you have quality data to support research in that area, it needs to be communicated often and well.  If you want to offer new service lines, your teams need to understand those goals as well.  Data monetization provides both direct and indirect pathways as you continue to explore its benefits.  From his book Informatics, Douglas Laney identifies the 11 most common paths for data monetization, and these should be evaluated by your cross functional teams:

  • Increasing customer acquisition/retention
  • Creating a supplemental revenue stream
  • Introducing a new line of business
  • Entering new markets
  • Enabling competitive differentiation
  • Bartering for goods and services
  • Bartering for favorable terms and conditions, and improved relationships
  • Defraying the costs of information management and analytics
  • Reducing maintenance costs, cost overruns, and delays
  • Identifying and reducing fraud and risk
  • Improving citizen well-being

Data Monetization Factor #5: Be open to new opportunities.

Sometimes, new opportunities present themselves where you least expect.  The ability for data to provide value is exponential and many opportunities may not be immediately known to you or your team.  Your data monetization team must be open to and looking for any new opportunities that could arise at any time.  Be sure you monitor what your competition is doing and stay close to and informed about what is evolving in the healthcare industry.    

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You may start your journey by selling a subset of your data as a one-time sale, but along the way, you change course to provide your data as a service to increase opportunities and revenue streams.  Although the practice of analyzing and selling data is not a new economic commodity, it is in its infancy stage within healthcare.  Consider not only new revenue opportunities that may arise, but look for new partnerships, research collaboration projects, and community benefits your healthcare data monetization strategy may provide.

Data Monetization Factor #6: Consolidate and integrate.

Data spread across disparate storage silos creates a messy data house.  Consolidating your imaging data into a common archive provides the best practice for rapid search when specific research parameters are requested.  Integrating data with other clinical systems (like your EHR) is equally important to provide more value in the data you are storing.  Aggregating all relevant data, including payer data, into a unified data silo speeds data analysis and improves your output.  Don’t forget to ensure your data is complete, accurate, and standardized.

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While storing all your data in a single infrastructure may not be possible, removing data silos is a great first step.  Backing data up to the cloud provides global access to the data when needed.  Integrating all imaging silos into a common infrastructure (a vendor neutral archive -VNA – or enterprise imaging platform), will save costs and improve access to your data in context to the patient’s clinical record.  How you ultimately manage your data is every bit as important as who you choose to partner with as you begin your data consolidation and standardization efforts. 

Companies like InsiteOne can help provide robust storage infrastructure tools to consolidate your imaging data. We also provide the expertise to help extract and identify the metadata that provides greater insight, plus the experience from helping our customers monetize their imaging data successfully. 


Healthcare data monetization continues to evolve as the value it provides to improve workflows, identify new service lines, and open new revenue streams make it a worthwhile initiative. Yet navigating data monetization services is complex and organizations must do so with their eyes wide open.  Driving a culture that thrives on collecting, aggregating, cleansing, and analyzing your generated data must be driven from the top down to succeed. Embracing this new frontier opens new opportunities for your organization to help advance medicine.

This blog does not cover every tip an organization must take as they evaluate their monetizing strategies, but we hope it provides some interesting resources, provoking thoughts and insight about the opportunities that can come from monetizing your data. Every organization should continue to explore if data monetization is the right choice to pursue either now or in the future. 

There are many different approaches to take in a data monetization journey, but the factors that must be considered remains basically the same for all.  InsiteOne has experience in assisting our customers monetize their data and we would be happy to engage in a conversation about your strategy, future needs, current roadblocks, and privacy concerns.  If you want to learn more about how InsiteOne can help, be sure to contact us today to start a conversation!  Finally, we’ve created a data monetization checklist which you can download here to help you get started on your journey!

ROI Considerations When Moving to the Cloud


Healthcare has been slow to adopt cloud-based technology. Yet, industry trends point to greater adoption as hospitals grapple with infrastructure and staffing costs.  Vendors continue to offer new hosted solutions that provide better scalability, data security, and enterprise access.  As IT organizations look for ways to control escalating costs while refreshing outdated technology, the cloud has become an avenue to improve many organizational leaders’ top pain points, but there are ROI considerations when moving to the cloud that should be factored into your decision making. In terms of continued adoption, the global growth rate for cloud spending is expected to increase 32.7% over 2023 spending alone, according to Statista

The challenge of moving to the cloud, and an early misconception, was the potential increase in costs.  Unlike on-premises solutions, you move from software “ownership” to software “usage”, and some solutions are completely managed by the vendor.   Making this change, organizations have struggled to show the ROI improvements when investing in cloud solutions.     

Whether you are looking to move to the cloud for increased scalability, data safety and security improvements, disaster recovery, cost savings, speed, enhanced clinical collaboration, or reducing your on-premises infrastructure, we will explore a few of the misconceptions surrounding cloud ROIs. 

ROI Consideration #1: The gap between “what was sold” vs. “reality”.

PwC noted in their 2023 Cloud Business Survey that more than half of respondents indicated they did not meet the ROI they expected.  The biggest reason companies fall short on expected cloud benefits is how they measure their ROI.  Not factoring in all aspects of your cloud transition can cause unexpected costs to crush your initial projections.  Higher storage costs when using the public cloud, for example, is one area many organizations do not adequately plan for. 

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As the first true cloud vendor neutral archive (VNA), InsiteOne understands the challenges and costs when moving your infrastructure to the cloud.  We explain the costs and benefits you would experience when making the transition to the cloud.  Things like server infrastructure costs, the physical space of your data center, on-going maintenance and support, software licensing, staffing, energy bills, and even productivity gains, are all things that need to be captured when evaluating the ROI of moving to the cloud.

ROI Consideration #2: Comparing cloud vs. on premises infrastructure costs alone isn’t enough.

Moving to the cloud will alleviate your on-premises infrastructure costs but other important factors must be considered as well.  Operational performance, increased business ability, and lower environmental costs, are just a few to consider.  Also, do not forget to factor in direct and indirect benefits when building your ROI Performa to gain a more accurate ROI.

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Understand your current on-going costs in maintaining your on-premises infrastructure. Consider the obvious and not so obvious cost factors in your analysis when building your ROI.  Once you understand true current costs, you will be able to evaluate the impact moving to the cloud will have on your organization.  Simply comparing the CAPEX vs. OPEX costs, will not provide you with an accurate representation of the true ROI you could realize moving to the cloud.

ROI Consideration #3: Understand one-time vs. on-going costs.

Shifting from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud will incur upfront and on-going costs.  Evaluating an ROI over a short time period will not produce stellar results due to upfront costs.  Even with CAPEX purchases, upfront costs exist and may be higher than expected.   Upfront costs even out the longer your timeframe is when evaluating your ROI. Upfront costs aside, a cloud infrastructure offers immediate benefits plus significant value over time.

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One-time costs you may have when moving to the cloud include, data migration (generally the biggest cost, especially with medical imaging data), implementation and consulting fees, 3rd party integrations, and user training.  On-going costs include monthly subscription fees, labor, and routine maintenance.  As you move your infrastructure to the cloud, look for new areas of cost consolidation, labor reallocation, and new opportunities to improve processes/workflows, or evaluate new revenue opportunities achievable by offering new services.  Switching to the cloud provides your organization an opportunity to evaluate your infrastructure and service delivery model and make changes that provide better scale and flexibility. Over the long-term, cloud technology can be more cost effective than on-premises infrastructures.

ROI Consideration #4: Factor in the intangible benefits you gain when moving to the cloud.

Infrastructure costs are easy to calculate when determining an ROI.  But what about the intangible benefits?  Realistically, intangible benefits will be different for every organization because not every organization will move to the cloud for the same reasons.  There are some common intangible benefits, like added security, reduced costs, improved collaboration, speed to market, infinite scalability, easier upgrades, shifting from CAPEX to OPEX, and better long-term flexibility that all add value when moving to the cloud.

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Increasing clinical collaboration is one of the most important intangible benefits when moving healthcare to the cloud.  Improving data access and providing better tools fosters cross-team collaboration that can have a direct impact on patient outcomes.  Although this is a tough benefit to place a value on, it does exist and must be considered.  Additionally, adding new revenue streams, like data monetization strategies, become more realistic, easier to market and access when cloud technology is used.  Finally, reallocating staff to more important projects, and reducing overall operational spending are additional benefits that can be tough to calculate, but do not forget to consider their overall impact.

ROI Consideration #5: Reinventing your business model via the could offers the highest ROI

Shifting some of your applications to the cloud alone does not offer the highest ROI. Powering your organization with cloud technology provides the greatest ROI gains.  According to PwC, businesses that move their operations to the cloud are four times more likely to see value in areas where those that only partially moved to the cloud would see. 

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Companies that experience higher value in their cloud transition have the four following things in common: 1) a holistic and unwavering approach to the cloud 2) C-Suite collaboration and early buy-in 3) a formalized data, AI, and analytics strategy and 4) a focus approach on trust and controls. Identifying potential risks early and through all stages of your cloud transition allows your organization to invest in the right resources to mitigate risks that may arise along the way.      


As more healthcare organizations move their business operations to the cloud, proof exists that cloud technology provides distinct advantages over on-premises infrastructures.  Although risks exist, the rewards are there to be gained when the right strategy is in place.  The cloud offers opportunities for organizations to re-think their business models of the future and investing in cloud technology can offer better workflows, lower long-term costs, and infinite on-demand scalability.  Developing a “cloud mindset” must start at the top and a detailed analysis is required to understand 1) how your organization will compete and deliver services in the future 2) what services can be reinvented using cloud technology, and 3) where operations can be streamlined to reduce costs and eliminate bottlenecks.

Although many factors need to be analyzed when making the cloud transition, understanding every aspect of your current infrastructure helps you properly prepare a ROI analysis.  InsiteOne has been helping our clients realize the value that the cloud can bring to their organization for decades.  Our experience and guidance can help you uncover areas where the cloud can further improve your ROI.  All our solutions are delivered as a cloud hosted managed service so your organization can better control long-term costs while maximizing the value the technology we offer provides.   

Learn more about how InsiteOne can help you with cloud adoption (image archiving, operational RIS/PACS, or cloud-hosted disaster recovery RIS/PACS). Reach out to us today to start a conversation to explore how moving to the cloud can provide your organization with many long-term benefits.