VMW Monthly - April 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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Europe eagerly goes "tele" in a variety of medical fields

In a targeted special, VMW Magazine aims to highlight recent European initiatives where telemedicine and advanced simulation techniques are being introduced into different medical fields, including cardiology, hysteroscopy, laparoscopy, maxillo-facial surgery, pathology, radiology, medical education, and the patient record.

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Contents April 2001 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
California Telehealth & Telemedicine Center to award ten American Indian Diabetic Tele-ophthalmology minigrants
Virtual Centre for AIDS Research exemplary testbed for scientific collaboratory working
West Parry Sound Health Centre's partner MediSolution to acquire PACS expert MarkCare
Japanese researchers analyse magnetic brain field activity using grid technology
Brain data and the knowledge Grid
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
Full-Frame Technology to optimise Ziehm's C-arm image quality while reducing patient radiation dose
Primecare to select Sigaba's HIPAA-compliant secure e-mail for doctor-patient communication
Siemens to tackle hot issues addressed by Institute of Medicine report
TAP's robotics technology empowers Amgen's small molecule sample bank to advance drug discovery
TomTec Imaging to introduce 4D Cardio-View ultrasound powered by TeraRecon's VolumePro
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Global IT networks provide sound vitamins to keep elderly healthy and alert
Dutch computer scientists stand tall in distributed supercomputing research
For diagnosing and treating cancer it is PET that often makes the difference
SoftWatch and CSC support European pharmaceutical industry with customer-focused e-marketing platform
Internet-enabled virtual environments may rid patient from disorders and phobia
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Thoroscopic surgery robots now FDA-approved for use in United States hospitals
Sunrise implementation immerses Columbus Children's Hospital and Maine Medical Center in total Eclipsys experience
Strategic partnership between HealthSouth and Oracle will make digital hospital come true by 2003
Medcon's TCS solution helps Ingalls Memorial Hospital switch to filmless cath and echo labs
Socrates surgical mentor allows surgeon experts to provide remote guidance in complex procedures
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Polycom's View- and SoundStations integrated into Stryker's educational telemedicine conferencing systems
New Healthwise Knowledgebase smart on-line companion for health information therapy
Veritas Medicine and PCRS partner to facilitate patient enrolment in clinical trials
Medexonline helps health care companies substantially save on e-business costs
Meridian to manufacture telemedicine products for new European venture
 
VMWC news bites
 
Quality of Service, IPv6 and middle boxes expected to make the Internet less foggy
Teaching angioplasty at Tiffany's and practising pulmonary procedures with PediaSim
Tele-training on human patient simulators in virtual space evokes real life stress
Frontiers of virtual reality use in clinical practice explored at MMVR 2001
New CathSim training system software to evaluate user's intravenous therapy skills
 

Leads April 2001 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
California Telehealth & Telemedicine Center to award ten American Indian Diabetic Tele-ophthalmology minigrants
Full ArticleThe California Telehealth & Telemedicine Center has awarded $637.908 to ten California Indian Health Programmes to purchase and support state-of-the-art telemedicine equipment used to screen patients for diabetic retinopathy. California lags behind the rest of the United States by seven percent in screening rates for diabetic retinopathy. Telemedicine equipment will be used to link ophthalmologists with patients who live up to 200 miles away from the closest specialist centre.
Virtual Centre for AIDS Research exemplary testbed for scientific collaboratory working
Full ArticleDuring the first-day afternoon session of the Global Grid Forum Conference, Peter Knoop and Daniel Kiskis discussed the design principles, set-up, and operation of Comprehensive Collaborative Frameworks, better known as collaboratories, at the University of Michigan (UM). In this regard, UM is launching a Next Generation Collaboratory, named CHEF, to serve as a covering meta-framework in order to integrate UM Course Tools, a system to support teaching and learning, into the existing scientific, industrial, and educational collaboratories. In addition, a project of the US National Science Foundation will evaluate the collaboratory concept by defining and codifying the underlying technology. An example of a successful health collaboratory with user-centred design at UM is the Great Lakes Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).
West Parry Sound Health Centre's partner MediSolution to acquire PACS expert MarkCare
Full ArticleThe West Parry Sound Health Centre (WPSHC) in Parry Sound, Ontario has selected the MediSolution health care information software products to integrate WPSHC's seven facilities, three physician's offices, and five specialist's offices. The contract is valued at approximately $2 million in revenue over five years, and the first of its kind in Canada. MediSolution has equally signed a letter of intent to acquire substantially all of the assets of MarkCare Medical Systems Inc., a software applications provider for medical diagnostic and picture archiving and communications systems (PACS).
Japanese researchers analyse magnetic brain field activity using grid technology
Full ArticleIn the second day session on Grid data farms and other Japanese scientific Grid efforts at the First Global Grid Forum Conference, Dr. Satoshi Matsuoka presented the MEG project running at Osaka University, in which complex magnetoencephalography data is analysed to detect early symptoms of brain disease. Grid and IPv6 technologies are applied in order to build the sophisticated MEG data analysis environment where highly advanced signal processing techniques, including Independent Component Analysis (ICA) and wavelet are helping to reveal the different functions within the human brain. In contrast with electrocorticography (ECoG), MEG is a non-invasive method to capture the magnetic field which arises from brain activity via helmet-type sensors.
Brain data and the knowledge Grid
Full ArticleThere are many data and information sources available that could be useful to neuroscience. However, they are stored in different formats and put together by experts in specialised domains. Hence they are incompatible, not only in format but also in terms and wording used. As Bertram Ludaescher, an NPACI representative from the San Diego Supercomputer Centre explained at the First Global Grid Forum Conference, creating a mediator service which understands the user's question and can translate it to the language used by the different information sources to get a composite answer, could be the solution.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
Full-Frame Technology to optimise Ziehm's C-arm image quality while reducing patient radiation dose
Full ArticleInstrumentarium Imaging Ziehm GmbH has now enhanced its image quality further by equipping the C-arm with new optimised camera technology. The newly developed Full-Frame Technology allows the entire image processing chain to operate in non-interlaced mode, thus enhancing its dynamic range and reducing noise, particularly when the imaged object is in motion. In addition, high-performance filters combined with the new non-interlaced technique reduce the radiation dose received by the patient by 30 percent with no loss in image quality.
Primecare to select Sigaba's HIPAA-compliant secure e-mail for doctor-patient communication
Full ArticlePrimeCare Systems Inc. (PSI), a wholly owned subsidiary of OCG Technology Inc., has chosen Sigaba Corporation's Email Encryption Gateway for securing its health-related e-mail transmissions over the Internet. PSI's Internet interactive medical interview system, PrimeCareontheWeb (PCW), facilitates collection, analysis, and delivery of the patients' history of present illness (HPI) reports from patients to doctors.
Siemens to tackle hot issues addressed by Institute of Medicine report
Full ArticleInformation technology solutions from Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services Corporation help health care organisations address concerns and recommendations in a report published early March by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), titled Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health Care System for the 21st Century. In this report, the IOM's Committee on the Quality of Health care in America issued 13 recommendations intended to improve the state of health care in the United States. In particular, one recommendation called for "a renewed commitment to building an information infrastructure to support health care delivery, consumer health, quality measurement and improvement, public accountability, clinical and health services research, and clinical education, with the goal of eliminating most handwritten clinical data by the end of the decade".
TAP's robotics technology empowers Amgen's small molecule sample bank to advance drug discovery
Full ArticleThe Automation Partnership (TAP) of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and Amgen, a California-based biotechnology company are collaborating to integrate advances in biotechnology with the acceleration of technology in information storage technology and robotics. TAP is helping Amgen design and build an automated small molecule sample storage, retrieval, and preparation system for potential human therapeutic drug candidates.
TomTec Imaging to introduce 4D Cardio-View ultrasound powered by TeraRecon's VolumePro
Full ArticleTomTec Imaging Systems GmbH, a company specialised in three- and dynamic-three-dimensional ultrasound technologies, known as 3D/4D ultrasound, is introducing 4D Cardio-View, its new real time ultrasound product. 4D Cardio-View is powered by VolumePro technology from the Real Time Visualisation division of TeraRecon Inc. This company recently acquired the Real Time Visualisation division from Mitsubishi Electric. The VolumePro integrated hardware and software solution delivers real time 3D volume rendering capability to standard computer systems.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Global IT networks provide sound vitamins to keep elderly healthy and alert
Full ArticleA project funded under the eContent section of the Information Society programme of the European Commission's Fifth Framework is bringing the digital world to the elderly to offer the stimulation they need in order to keep healthy, alert, and in touch with the outside world. The project, "Sound vitamins for the elderly", will use information technology (IT) speech and music channels in an environmental system, which requires speech prompts, to provide older people with the required stimulation. The project involves researchers from the University of Leicester in the UK, and Audio Riders, a Finnish information technology company, as well as two care homes situated in Finland and the United Kingdom.
Dutch computer scientists stand tall in distributed supercomputing research
Full ArticleDr. Henri Bal, who is working in the Faculty of Sciences at the Free University (VU) of Amsterdam, was invited at the First Global Grid Forum Conference to give an overview of current grid computing activities in The Netherlands. Dr. Bal presented DutchGrid, Virtual Laboratories (VL), and Distributed ASCI Supercomputer (DAS) to the audience, three recent grid projects which are focused on multi-disciplinary research, also in the medical field. In addition, the speaker illustrated some important issues of distributed supercomputing using DAS, based on a set of application case studies and experimental programming environments, in order to indicate which challenges soon will need to be met by computer scientists.
For diagnosing and treating cancer it is PET that often makes the difference
Full ArticleIn the past, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) was primarily used for scientific research of the human brain. In recent years however, PET imaging technology is playing a key role in the battle against cancer. In addition, other less frequent clinical applications are performed, including diagnostic exams for certain categories of heart patients. PET allows to detect various types of cancer more rapidly and completely, which optimises an efficient patient treatment and the chance for a full recovery. The University Hospital of Antwerp (UZA) is one of only two health facilities in the province of Antwerp, Belgium to dispose of a PET scanner. Although the equipment is expensive, PET enables the UZA doctors to reduce costs while fighting cancer in a much more easy way.
SoftWatch and CSC support European pharmaceutical industry with customer-focused e-marketing platform
Full ArticleComputer Sciences Corporation (CSC) has closed an alliance with SoftWatch to co-market Internet e-business and e-marketing products and services to pharmaceutical and health care multinational companies. CSC will offer consulting and IT services to support the SoftWatch Relationship Server (SRS) 2.0 platform and subsequent versions designed specifically for the health and wellness industries. CSC, a global consulting and IT firm since 1959, has a firmly established European pharmaceutical and health care practice, whose offerings include e-business strategy and solutions implementation to Europe's top pharmaceutical companies.
Internet-enabled virtual environments may rid patient from disorders and phobia
Full ArticleA consortium of 8 Italian, 1 French, and 3 Spanish partners has received funding from the European Commission to perform research on the technical and clinical viability of combining portable Virtual Reality systems with telemedicine tools in order to cure patients suffering from psychological disorders. The Vepsy-Updated project was launched at the start of 2001 and will involve the building of four Virtual Reality modular systems (VRMS) and validation of their clinical use in treating disturbances like panic disorder; agoraphobia and social phobia; obesity, bulimia and binge-eating disorders; premature ejaculation and male impotence. The project team will also define new protocols for VR-based therapy of psychological illnesses and will rely on the feedback of 240 patients who will test the equipment during a 15-month period.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Thoroscopic surgery robots now FDA-approved for use in United States hospitals
Full ArticleOn March 5th, 2001, Dr. Marc Katz performed the nation's first U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved robotically assisted thoracic surgery using the da Vinci surgical system at Henrico Doctors' Hospital in Virginia. The system was cleared for thoracic surgical procedures on March 2nd, and prensently allows cardiac surgeons to perform minimally invasive "thoroscopic" procedures. These are procedures performed in a patient's chest cavity. Henrico Doctors' Hospital was also the first facility in the United States to perform laparoscopic surgery with the da Vinci system in July of 2000.
Sunrise implementation immerses Columbus Children's Hospital and Maine Medical Center in total Eclipsys experience
Full ArticleColumbus, the Ohio-based Children's Hospital, specialised in paediatric health care services, is implementing Eclipsys' Sunrise Clinical Manager solution, featuring fully automated Knowledge-Based Orders (KBO), throughout the organisation. Earlier, Maine Medical Center (MMC), a tertiary medical centre based in Portland, and a longstanding customer of Eclipsys Corporation, has signed a sweeping agreement with this company to add a wide range of the latest Sunrise health care information solutions to its current slate of Eclipsys' Sunrise and heritage systems. Once all additional Sunrise products are implemented, Maine Medical Center will be a flagship Eclipsys customer, where other customers and prospects can visit to see the full benefits of utilising the complete outcomes-enhancing Sunrise product line.
Strategic partnership between HealthSouth and Oracle will make digital hospital come true by 2003
Full ArticleHealthSouth Corporation, a large provider of outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging, and rehabilitative health care services, is joining with Oracle Corporation, a developer of e-business software, to build the world's first all-digital, automated hospital. The hospital's technological features will include patient beds with display screens connected to the Internet, digital imaging instead of traditional X-ray film, electronic medical records storage, and a wireless communications network that will permit doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, armed with lightweight portable computers, to securely update and access patients' medical records from anywhere in the hospital or around the world.
Medcon's TCS solution helps Ingalls Memorial Hospital switch to filmless cath and echo labs
Full ArticleMedcon Telemedicine Technology Inc. and Mennen Medical Corp. have been selected to install Medcon's TCS Cardiac Image Management and Archiving system at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, Illinois, to provide digital image management and archiving for the facility's x-ray angiography and echocardiology laboratories.
Socrates surgical mentor allows surgeon experts to provide remote guidance in complex procedures
Full ArticleA team of surgeons in the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), located in Ontario, Canada has performed the world's first series of tele-collaborative surgeries using the Socrates Tele-collaborative System designed by Computer Motion Inc., a pioneer in medical robotics. To date, a total of six robotically assisted procedures have been completed using the surgical mentor tele-collaborating system from the London University campus, with the operative surgeon actually performing the procedure at the Westminster campus, some 15 miles away.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Polycom's View- and SoundStations integrated into Stryker's educational telemedicine conferencing systems
Full ArticleStryker Communications, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stryker Corporation, will integrate the ViewStation products, developed by Polycom Inc., a specialist in broadband communication solutions, into its industry-leading line of medical conferencing systems. The company will also include Polycom's complete line of SoundStation conference phones and NetEngine integrated access devices in its other integrated solution offerings.
New Healthwise Knowledgebase smart on-line companion for health information therapy
Full ArticleHealthwise Inc. has unveiled its "intelligent" on-line consumer health information product, the New Healthwise Knowledgebase. The novel product activates Healthwise's Prescription-Strength Information content with the necessary tags to push the right information to the right person at the right time. For the first time, prescription-strength on-line consumer health content is indexed to clinical concepts and industry-standard vocabularies, such as ICD-9 codes, so that people can get the information they need to make the best health care decisions.
Veritas Medicine and PCRS partner to facilitate patient enrolment in clinical trials
Full ArticleVeritas Medicine, an extensive on-line clinical trials and treatment resource for patients, physicians and pharmaceutical companies, has signed a contract with Physicians Clinical Research Solutions (PCRS), a network of physicians and research sites in North America. Under the agreement, the Veritas Medicine proprietary on-line database of investigative treatment options, clinical trials and comprehensive content will be linked with PCRS' newly launched Web site, RapidTrials.com to be launched in June, 2001. The goal of this collaboration is to maximise qualified patient enrolment and physician participation in essential clinical research.
Medexonline helps health care companies substantially save on e-business costs
Full ArticleMedexonline, an e-health technology company for the European health care industry, has launched a complete suite of hosted Web-based solutions and services that will allow health care companies to fast-track their e-business strategies while making potential costs savings of as much as 50-70 percent on normal technology costs, according to the Gartner Group.
Meridian to manufacture telemedicine products for new European venture
Full ArticleMeridian Medical Technologies Inc. will manufacture cardiology telemedicine products for the new joint venture of Philips Medical Systems and SHL Telemedicine Ltd. in Europe. The alliance between Philips and SHL was closed in Europe on January 25, 2001.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Quality of Service, IPv6 and middle boxes expected to make the Internet less foggy
Full ArticleAt the first edition of the Global Grid Forum Conference held 4-7 March in Amsterdam, Brian Carpenter, IBM Programme Director of Internet Standards & Technology, provided a keynote on future networking and peer-to-peer computing. Being chairman of the Internet Society, the speaker who is equally involved in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Work Group for Differentiated Services, pictured a realistic view of the hard work which still needs to be done in order to solve today's problems of congestion, the chronic lack of address space, and packets blockages or even hijackings because of firewall protection and interception via gateways and proxies. Mr. Carpenter offered a three-fold solution in terms of Quality of Service control, a fast deployment of IPv6, and the introduction of middle boxes for Grid and P2P computing.
Teaching angioplasty at Tiffany's and practising pulmonary procedures with PediaSim
Full ArticleMedical Simulation Corporation, based in Englewood, Colorado, and Medical Education Technologies Inc. (METI), headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, are both companies with extensive experience in building simulators to train health care students and doctors, and teach them how to accurately perform all kinds of medical procedures. In late 1999, METI introduced the PediaSim, the world's first Paediatric Patient Simulator, and during a recent conference of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) in Orlando, Medical Simulation launched the SimSuite Training System.
Tele-training on human patient simulators in virtual space evokes real life stress
Full ArticleA physician may practise and train emergency procedures on a human patient simulator (HPS) till he can dream the subsequent actions in reversed order while he is asleep. This will still not accustom the surgeon to the various stress elements experienced in a working emergency department or operating room under real life circumstances. An incontrovertible fact that has been well understood by a team of doctors and researchers at the Virtual Reality Laboratory of the Engineering College at the University of Michigan. Here, the Virtual Reality-enhanced Medical Readiness Trainer (MRT) is being developed and brought to perfection, with the aim to fuse the state-of-the-art technologies of HPS and fully immersive VR to stage the reality of time limits, environmental distractions, fatigue, and nerve-wrecking situations in clinical medicine.
Frontiers of virtual reality use in clinical practice explored at MMVR 2001
Full ArticleTraditionally, Newport Beach's Marriott Hotel in California was chosen as the venue for the ninth edition of the annual "Medicine Meets Virtual Reality" (MMVR) event, held January 24-27, 2001. The conference proceedings have now been published as the 81st volume in the series dedicated to Studies in Health Technology and Informatics by IOS Press in Amsterdam. This MMVR 2001 edition exceeds all previous ones with no less than 112 papers, presenting state-of-the-art applications in Virtual Reality for the health care practice, under the highly imaginative title "Outer Space, Inner Space, Virtual Space".
New CathSim training system software to evaluate user's intravenous therapy skills
Full ArticleImmersion Medical, formerly HT Medical Systems, a Maryland-based, wholly owned subsidiary of Immersion Corporation, has released a new skills assessment module for the widely used CathSim Intravenous Catheterisation Training Simulator. The module is designed to evaluate and test cognitive and motor skills necessary to perform common intravenous therapies.
 

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© 2001, Genias Benelux

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