VMW Monthly - January 2001 - ISSN 1388-722X


Virtual Medical Worlds is a monthly Virtual Magazine on Telemedicine and High Performance Computing and Networking for readers interested in computer applications in medical environments. VMW is produced by an editorial team composed of professionals in publishing, and an advisory board with professionals in telemedicine, providing the embedding into the everyday practice and research. You can put the editorial team to work as well. Read about our services and find out about the friendly rates.

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*** Virtual Medical World Magazine's 2000 TOP 10 articles listing ***

Market reports on e-health and telemedicine, simulation and robotic surgery, virtual reality, medical imaging, and tele-monitoring: these are the highest ranking topics in VMW's past year survey. Here is your chance to do some catching up with regard to the hottest items in medical IT of the year 2000.

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Combined ITIS'99-ITAB'99 Conference, April 12-13 1999, Amsterdam.
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Contents January 2001 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
Building a global e-health information business by wearing local shoes
eHealthcare World trophy winner Medscape launches continuing education site for nurses
DIANAssociates to purchase direct digital radiography systems for remote tuberculosis screening
Health ethics code and self responsible consumer to chase evil monks from the Web
Hearing-impaired people better integrated with remote modality translation services
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
VIDAR film digitisers to enhance quality of e-MedSoft.com's remote imaging applications
Advanced Acoustical Concepts chooses BabylonMETA to deliver encryption to its telemedicine customers
Sun and iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions power on-line health care portal for health professionals
How computing power is driving the advances in biotechnology
Agilent Healthcare acquisition turns Philips into world player in medical systems
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Preaching new roles for IT and Internet in a patient-centred health religion
Recommendations for a solid and integrated European e-health environment
Visiting the Sanger Centre and Wellcome Trust
Dutch team uses new supercomputer to simulate process of bone tissue growth
Stem cell research approved by British Parliament while European colleagues prefer to wait and see
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Georgetown University Medical Center to study telemedicine's impact on heart disease management
Medical Centre Daniël den Hoed uses laptops for tele-home-monitoring of cancer patients
MOTEK to install virtual reality rehabilitation platform at the University of Groningen
FDA approval for digital mammography allows "soft copy" reading of patient images
MISIT to empower minimally invasive surgeon with new protocols and innovative tools
 
Virtual snap shots
 
The iCare Portal to serve hospital patients, staff and visitors with targeted content
"mypatient.com" selected among the best continuing medical education sites
GE Medical partners with R2 Technology to bring advanced software to digital mammography
Sanger's Cancer Genome Project requires another 5 to 10 years of research
Chinese doctors to receive remote medical education via satellite network
 
VMWC news bites
 
Book of life further unravelled in ultra-rapid sequencing with Ensembl software
FDA clearance and patent awarded to enhanced visualisation software for cardiac disease and brain tumours
Deloitte & Touche study to analyse today's and upcoming European health telematics market trends
Impact of groundbreaking Information Technology on the Sanger Centre
Project Cyborg 2.0 to investigate brain-computer interaction for motion and pain
 

Leads January 2001 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
Building a global e-health information business by wearing local shoes
Full ArticleBill Silberg, Vice-President and Executive Editor for Medscape Inc., held a keynote lecture at the recent MedNet 2000 Congress about the opportunities and challenges of the World Wide Web as a global medical information tool for both health care professionals and consumers. One of the key issues from an editorial as well as a business point of view for the creation of an international partnership and collaboration with regard to the electronic delivery of medical content is the concept of localisation. If Web publishers do not succeed in adapting and translating their health messages to local practices and local languages, they will face a difficult time trying not to get broke and stay alive, according to Mr. Silberg.
eHealthcare World trophy winner Medscape launches continuing education site for nurses
Full ArticleMedscape, the leading provider of digital health records (DHR) and on-line health information, was recognised for achievement and excellence at the recent 2000 eHealthcare World Awards Ceremony in New York, earning the Gold Awards for Best Healthcare Engine and for Best Healthcare Portal. In turn, CBS HealthWatch by Medscape received the Bronze award for Best Healthcare Portal. Medscape.com also is the only authoritative health care Web site to provide a speciality site for nurses. Since its launch in September 1999, the popularity of the site has continued to grow and currently boasts a nursing membership from more than 200 countries.
DIANAssociates to purchase direct digital radiography systems for remote tuberculosis screening
Full ArticleSwissray International Inc., pioneer and worldwide leader in direct digital Radiography ddR systems and renowned provider of medical imaging informatics, has received an order for ten ddR systems from DIANAssociates Inc, a telemedicine service provider based in Severna Park, Maryland. Using Swissray ddR systems, DIANAssociates will provide tuberculosis screening services at ten geographically remote locations in the United States.
Health ethics code and self responsible consumer to chase evil monks from the Web
Full ArticleThe first keynote speaker at the MedNet 2000 Conference was Mr. Michael Hayes Samuelson, the former director of the U.S. National Center for Health Promotion (NCHP). As a specialist in health behaviour and consumer advocacy, and taking part as member of the e-Health Ethics Steering Group, Mr. Samuelson made a strong plea to fully blend the voice of the health care consumer within the medical dialogue between scientists and practitioners. He called the Internet the wild wild west in terms of medical information for the public but at the same time warned against censorship. Each health care provider should take his responsibility instead, and meet the public's need in its enormous hunger for reliable on-line health information by providing easy access to legitimate Web sites and doctor-patient e-mail communication.
Hearing-impaired people better integrated with remote modality translation services
Full ArticleIn November 2000, the Trace Research and Development Center demonstrated remote translation services for persons who are deaf at the Supercomputing Conference (SC2000) in Texas. The demonstration is part of a "Modality Translation on the Grid" concept which could offer a variety of remote services to benefit people with and without disabilities.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
VIDAR film digitisers to enhance quality of e-MedSoft.com's remote imaging applications
Full ArticleThe two digitisers DiagnosticPRO "plus" and SIERRA "plus", developed by VIDAR Systems Corporation, the leader in medical film digitiser technology, recently have been selected for inclusion in MedReach, an Internet-based imaging system from e-MedSoft.com.
Advanced Acoustical Concepts chooses BabylonMETA to deliver encryption to its telemedicine customers
Full ArticleBiodata Information Technology, the global leader in network and communications security, has formed a strategic alliance with Advanced Acoustical Concepts (AAC), the leading provider of telemedicine technology. The alliance will provide Biodata's world-class encryption products to AAC's portfolio of clients, including those in the medical industry required to meet the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards for protecting the privacy of patient information.
Sun and iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions power on-line health care portal for health professionals
Full ArticleSun Microsystems, a leading provider of hardware, software and services for the Net Economy, and iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions, a Sun-Netscape alliance, and the first provider of a comprehensive, best-of-breed Internet Service Platform, will power a comprehensive health care portal, Diagnostix.com, designed to drive a new era in clinical information systems to reduce costs and improve the quality of patient care.
How computing power is driving the advances in biotechnology
Full ArticleAt the Sanger Centre in the United Kingdom, Bill Blake, the Vice President of Compaq worldwide for High Performance Technical Computing, gave an overview of this market and importance, and highlighted Compaq's role and investments in new Alpha processors as well as their road map. The speaker particularly focused the field of protein research.
Agilent Healthcare acquisition turns Philips into world player in medical systems
Full ArticleRoyal Philips Electronics and Agilent Technologies Inc. have closed an agreement, allowing Philips to acquire Agilent Technologies' Healthcare Solutions Group (HSG) for $1.7 billion. This recent transaction was subject to customary regulatory approvals and other closing conditions. In the next several months, it is expected to be finalised. The new contract will enhance Philips' position on the global medical systems' market as a third competitor against Siemens and GE Medical.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Preaching new roles for IT and Internet in a patient-centred health religion
Full ArticleAs the second keynote lecturer at the MedNet 2000 Conference, Dr. Ilias Iakovidis from the start admitted to feel like a TV-evangelist since his talk would be more about religion than about science. Responsible for the planning and the monitoring of research in the area of health telematics within the European Commission, the speaker indeed expressed his vision for a citizen centred care which should pay full attention to prevention and the establishment of collaborative environments. The European dream is to create continuity through shared care, but not limited from doctor to doctor. The circle has to enclose health care professionals, providers, trusted third parties, researchers, public authorities, patients, and epidemiologists.
Recommendations for a solid and integrated European e-health environment
Full ArticleThe Deloitte & Touche Health Centre of Excellence, based in Diegem, Belgium, has recently issued a report with in-depth analysis figures and recommendations for the building of a well-structured European health telematics market, which should be beneficial to all the involved parties. The Health Information Society Technology (HIST) based industry study has been ordered and financed by the European Commission's Directorate General for the Information Society under the title Market Analysis on the emerging European Health Telematics Industry. The results of this first-of-its-kind report in Europe were presented to the MedNet 2000 Congress audience by Mrs. Véronique Lessens, who is a manager at the Health Centre of Excellence.
Visiting the Sanger Centre and Wellcome Trust
Full ArticleAlthough it was late in November, the Sanger Centre, located in Hinxton Hall near Cambridge, in the so-called Genome Campus, presented itself from its sunniest side. It is a world leading genomics research centre, primarily funded by the Wellcome Trust, and plays a key role in sequencing the human genome. The scientists at Sanger have generated more finished genomic sequences than any other organisation, public or private. The centre moves forward to play an equally important role in the post-genomic era, in functional genetics and informatics. Dr. Richard Durbin, working at Sanger, gave a short introduction, describing the centre, the international activities, and the actual projects.
Dutch team uses new supercomputer to simulate process of bone tissue growth
Full ArticleAt the occasion of The Netherlands National Computer Facilities Foundation's (NCF) tenth anniversary, an organisation residing under the umbrella of the Dutch National Science Foundation (NWO), the new Dutch National Supercomputer, a powerful 1024 processor SGI Origin3000, was inaugurated. The NCF celebration also included a conference with a keynote from Dr. Harry Weinans, attached to the Laboratory for Orthopaedics at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. The speaker explained the important role of supercomputing power used to simulate the growth of human bone tissue.
Stem cell research approved by British Parliament while European colleagues prefer to wait and see
Full ArticleA majority of 366 members of the British Parliament has voted in favour of an amendment to extend the United Kingdom's existing rules on embryo research in a recent House of Commons debate, compared to 174 members who were against. The controversial decision will allow stem cells, which have the special capacity to grow into a number of body tissues, to be taken from embryos very early in their development.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Georgetown University Medical Center to study telemedicine's impact on heart disease management
Full ArticleHomMed LLC's Home Monitoring System has been chosen by Georgetown University Medical Center for use in a study to determine best practices for treating congestive heart failure patients. The HomMed System allows physicians and nurse care managers to monitor the condition of chronically ill patients in their homes. It is anticipated that the study will soon be approved by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), which is Medicare's regulatory arm, for use in the Medicare Co-ordinated Care Demonstration programme, created as a result of the 1997 Balanced Budget Act.
Medical Centre Daniël den Hoed uses laptops for tele-home-monitoring of cancer patients
Full ArticleThe Medical Centre Dijkzigt/Daniël den Hoed in Rotterdam is the first hospital in The Netherlands to provide cancer patients who have been discharged from the clinic, with a laptop for health monitoring at home. Daniël den Hoed Clinical Centre forms part of the University Hospital of Rotterdam. The Medical Informatics Division at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam is co-ordinating the project, whereas the industry partner Lifeline Networks has taken up the role of application service provider.
MOTEK to install virtual reality rehabilitation platform at the University of Groningen
Full ArticleMOTEK, the leading developer and provider of high-quality motion capture technology, will implement its first Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment System, known as CAREN, at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. CAREN forms a turnkey, customisable visualisation application designed for the medical industry. Installation of the system will take place in early 2001.
FDA approval for digital mammography allows "soft copy" reading of patient images
Full ArticleThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted its first-ever approval for doctors to use mammography to screen and diagnose patients for breast disease directly from an advanced computer workstation, instead of reading traditional x-ray films. The procedure, called "soft copy" reading, is proven to be comparable to doctors reading patient images using x-ray films, and it is available only on the Senographe 2000D, the world's first full-field digital mammography system, designed by General Electric (GE) Medical Systems.
MISIT to empower minimally invasive surgeon with new protocols and innovative tools
Full ArticleDuring the National Demonstration Day for Visualisation and Virtual Reality (VIS), which was organised by the Dutch Platform for High Performance Computing and Networking, the Delft University of Technology (DUT) showcased MISIT, a multi-disciplinary project on Minimally Invasive Surgery and Interventional Techniques. This extensive research programme consists of six separate sub-projects in which several faculties of the DUT are collaborating with a number of hospitals in The Netherlands, as well as the Dutch biomedical industry. The co-ordinating clinical partner in MISIT is the Academic Medical Centre (AMC), based in Amsterdam.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
The iCare Portal to serve hospital patients, staff and visitors with targeted content
Full ArticleAmerican Interactive Media (AIME) Inc., a developer of branded programming for multiple platforms, has joined forces with the Television Rental Company (TVRC), a fifty year-old veteran and a leading provider of telecommunication products and services to health care facilities, to create the iCare Portal. The joint venture leverages TVRC's infrastructure in more than 200 health care facilities, serving 65.000 beds to deliver programming and branded content and information services to approximately 14.5 million patients, visitors, health care professionals, and staff annually.
"mypatient.com" selected among the best continuing medical education sites
Full ArticleAt the 2000 eHealthcare World Awards, mypatient.com brought home the silver prize for the best continuing medical education (CME) site. The finish of mypatient.com among the best health care Web sites is due to its innovative content and design, solid structure, easy-to-use navigation, and high levels of performance and interactivity.
GE Medical partners with R2 Technology to bring advanced software to digital mammography
Full ArticleGE Medical Systems and R2 Technology have signed an exclusive agreement to bring advanced software to GE's digital mammography system, the Senographe 2000D. The contract also includes the distribution of R2's Computed Aided Detection (CAD) technology as an option for GE Medical's digital mammography system. R2's CAD technology is designed to assist radiologists during their review of screening mammograms by identifying features associated with cancer which may warrant a second review.
Sanger's Cancer Genome Project requires another 5 to 10 years of research
Full ArticleOne of the most intensive research programmes at the British Sanger Centre for genomics constitutes the Cancer Genome Project. In this project, the normal cells are compared with cancer cells. Systematically, the scientists are searching for changes in the genome sequence. Mike Stratton presented the Sanger approach in the ongoing fight against cancer.
Chinese doctors to receive remote medical education via satellite network
Full ArticleChina has formulated plans to extend long-distance continued medical education (CME) to its 5.5 million medical professionals, to help physicians and doctors improve their professional competence. This was announced by an official from the Chinese Ministry of Health, according to reporters from the Xinhua News Agency.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Book of life further unravelled in ultra-rapid sequencing with Ensembl software
Full ArticleSince June 26, 2000, the human genome has been completed and is freely available. The "book of life" is very large and still comes out in fragments as a working draft of 3.1 billion letters. Tim Hubbard from the Sanger Centre for genomics in Hinxton Hall expects that there will be no definitive sequence for at least 3 years. However, scientists want to use the human genome now. The reasons for accessing the human genome are quite different. The "Bench" biologist looks whether his gene has been sequenced, which are the genes in this particular region, and connects the genome to other resources. The research bio-informatics wants a data set of human genomic DNA and a protein data set.
FDA clearance and patent awarded to enhanced visualisation software for cardiac disease and brain tumours
Full ArticleVital Images Inc., an advanced medical visualisation software company, has received 510(k) clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market the latest release of its Vitrea 2 software product, version 2.2. This version of Vitrea 2 features novel clinical capabilities, designed specifically to assist in the diagnosis and analysis of heart disease and brain tumours. Among the software's new analytic tools is a vascular measurement function, which automates the process of gathering selected vessel measurements for heart disease treatment planning.
Deloitte & Touche study to analyse today's and upcoming European health telematics market trends
Full ArticleThe Health Information Society Technology (HIST) based industry study, presented by Deloitte & Touche Manager Mrs. Véronique Lessens at MedNet 2000, outlines the current and future ICT market trends for the different health care market segments in Europe. The speaker offered an overview of the figures which have been collected in the various sectors of primary care, hospital care, telemedicine, and home care. The report also includes statistics on the level of Internet integration reached by the European citizen, the health professionals, and the hospitals. Behind the naked percentages, the HIST study tries to provide insight into the underlying motives of specific IT developments in health care.
Impact of groundbreaking Information Technology on the Sanger Centre
Full ArticleOne of the most important aids in studying genomes is the use of high-end computers. Phil Butcher, who is head of Information Technology at the Sanger Centre for genome research, presented the enormous storage and computing challenges, as well as the actual application of clusters of Alpha processors.
Project Cyborg 2.0 to investigate brain-computer interaction for motion and pain
Full ArticleProfessor Kevin Warwick, who heads the Cybernetics Department at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, is planning to submit his body to a revolutionary experiment in the summer of 2001. This futurist has decided to have a silicon chip implanted into his left arm where it will be connected to the nervous system, in order to communicate with his brain. The underlying idea of the whole initiative is to analyse brain signals that are associated with motion and pain.
 

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© 2001, Genias Benelux

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