An application service provider (ASP) is a business that supplies computer-related services to customers or organizations, typically over the Internet.
Some PACS components (such as archiving and image management) can be outsourced to ASPs because of the increasing availability of high-speed Internet connections and the growing affordability of multi-terabyte RAID farms. Another contributing factor is the expanding use of techniques such as wavelet compression to reduce image retrieval times, even over slower networks.
When considering an ASP solution, it is important to determine the true extent of the services being offered. If an ASP solution involves installing archiving and image management equipment onsite, all that is really being offered is a creative financing method similar to leasing, where an organization either pays “by the click” for image retrieval, or pays an annual fee for each archived study.