VMW Monthly - May 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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Medinfo2001 - The 10th triennial Congress of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA)
September 2-5, 2001 - London, United Kingdom
MEDINFO is the world's most prestigious congress for health informatics.

General theme of the congress is "Towards Global Health: The Informatics Route to Knowledge".
General information, paper submission guidelines, and registration modalities are available at the Medinfo2001 Web site


 

Contents May 2001 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
HomMed and Nurses That Care to deliver tele-monitoring services to Texas residents with chronic disease
National Library of Medicine to renew medical content licensing agreement with adam.com
Canadian TETRA agency funded to deliver satellite-based telehealth services to ships at sea
VizDExter 3D imaging system enables successful brain separation of Siamese twins
House call of the future taking shape in Informatics project for Diabetes Education and Telemedicine
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
ITXC Push to Talk service allows doctors to have voice-enabled live interaction in MedCases' e-learning programmes
PictureTel 900 Series delivers high-resolution Internet-powered video-conferencing to health care sector
HEALTHvision and Cytura partner to create personalised Web communities for health care organisations
Ampersand and AmeriPath to jointly develop diagnostic tools for cancer screening
RealTimeImage's iPACS integrated into Wuestec's Digital Radiography suite for real time Internet Image Delivery
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Medical intelligent agent search engine Marvin is a prototype Grid application
PKI-secured health care networks allow safe patient data transfer and medical consultation across Europe
TelemediCare applies artificially intelligent bio-sensoring for distant patient monitoring
Three-dimensional medical visualisation bound to break the limits of diagnostics and treatment
Docobo Ltd and Tartu University start first trial of unique telemedicine system doc@HOME
 
The 21st century hospital
 
VivaScope's cellular imaging technology to replace invasive biopsy in early skin cancer detection
National Jewish contracts PeopleMed.com to establish Internet-based respiratory disease management platform
Major New York health system to sign IT outsourcing agreement with CSC and Superior
Abington Memorial Hospital to implement full spectrum of Eclipsys' integrated Sunrise solutions
ZEUS robot at once involved in lawsuit and in clinical surgery primeur
 
Virtual snap shots
 
European Samba Telemedicine System offers American physicians ready access to clinical data
Medem-Prevea partnership to enhance the on-line patient-physician relationship
CenterWatch to launch wireless PDA access to clinical trials information
Medical Equipment eMarketplace finds niche in enabling technology transfer to international locations
Doctors seamlessly switch between paper and PDA using ttools' hybrid Stylus Pen
 
VMWC news bites
 
Intel's Philanthropic Peer-to-Peer Programme, good for science, or good for marketing?
Fourth Immersion Medical simulation module duplicates look and feel of sophisticated biopsy procedure
Japan takes motivated plunge into surgery simulation and robot-enhanced interventions
Computer-controlled magnetic fields navigate instrument within blood vessels of human brain
Vesalius or the art of virtual dissection through 3D visualisation and body-mapping
 

Leads May 2001 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
HomMed and Nurses That Care to deliver tele-monitoring services to Texas residents with chronic disease
Full ArticleHomMed and Nurses That Care (NTC), headquartered in McAllen, Texas, have entered into a partnership that will enable NTC to provide new, cutting-edge home monitoring services to numerous congestive heart failure and respiratory-compromised individuals. Founded in 1992, NTC comprises a patient-focused team of health care professionals and serves nearly 600 Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and private-pay patients in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy Texas counties. HomMed provides innovative and cost-effective solutions for chronic illness and disease state management.
National Library of Medicine to renew medical content licensing agreement with adam.com
Full ArticleThe National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, has renewed the agreement it has with adam.com Inc., a creator and syndicator of health information for the e-Health and e-Learning markets. NLM will license adam's Health Illustrated Encyclopaedia, which contains over 10.000 indexed pages of health and wellness information, for use on NLM's popular Web site MedlinePlus. The agreement between adam and NLM provides option renewals for two successive one-year terms.
Canadian TETRA agency funded to deliver satellite-based telehealth services to ships at sea
Full ArticleThe Canadian Centre for Marine Communications (CCMC) has agreed to provide a 100.000 Canadian Dollar contribution to the Telehealth and Educational Technology Resources Agency (TETRA) of the Memorial University of Newfoundland toward dramatically improving the emergency medical response to marine vessels travelling in Canadian waters. Known as the Marine Interactive Satellite Technologies (MIST) programme, the grant is being made through the CCMC Marine Information Skyway project, an initiative supported by the Communications Research Centre (CRC) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
VizDExter 3D imaging system enables successful brain separation of Siamese twins
Full ArticleAt the Singapore General Hospital, a team of 20 doctors worked around the clock for four days to separate the fused brains of twin sisters Ganga and Jamuna Shrestha. Their success depended on virtual reality software, developed in Singapore, which allowed the surgeons to see inside the girls' shared skull, months before the operation. The 11-month-old girls were born joined at the head, their brains twisted around each other. Only a handful of doctors have tried to separate this type of Siamese twins, and fewer have succeeded.
House call of the future taking shape in Informatics project for Diabetes Education and Telemedicine
Full ArticleOne year ago, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons (P&S) at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center (CPMC) and SUNY Upstate Medical University received a $28 million grant from the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) to bring health care into the homes of underserved rural and inner-city residents with diabetes. This project is known as the largest telemedicine effort ever, funded by the federal government's Department of Health and Human Services. Today, 280 patients from Northern Manhattan including Washington Heights, Inwood, and North and Central Harlem; the Bronx; and rural areas of central and upstate New York are enrolled in the project.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
ITXC Push to Talk service allows doctors to have voice-enabled live interaction in MedCases' e-learning programmes
Full ArticleMedCases, an expert in the creation of on-line simulated case-based learning systems for physicians, and ITXC Corporation, a provider of worldwide Internet voice services, have integrated ITXC Push to Talk service into MedCases' Web-based e-learning programmes, used by educational institutions, practising physicians, health care delivery organisations, and pharmaceutical companies.
PictureTel 900 Series delivers high-resolution Internet-powered video-conferencing to health care sector
Full ArticlePictureTel Corporation, an expert in integrated collaboration, has highlighted the success of the PictureTel 900 Series in the health care sector. Health care organisations around the world are using the video-conferencing tool to meet the immediate medical needs of remote patients, conduct far-reaching scientific research, and enable e-learning initiatives with doctors, nurses, and health care professionals.
HEALTHvision and Cytura partner to create personalised Web communities for health care organisations
Full ArticleHEALTHvision Inc., an e-health tools developer, and Cytura Corp., an on-line content management and personalisation solutions provider, have closed a strategic alliance, designed to help local health care organisations use the Internet to deliver timely, up-to-date information and resources to key constituents. By integrating Cytura 3.0 solution into HEALTHvision's e-healthSOURCE, a comprehensive Web infrastructure, content owners throughout the health care organisation will be able to quickly and easily update content to deliver the on-line resources which physicians, patients, and consumers are looking for.
Ampersand and AmeriPath to jointly develop diagnostic tools for cancer screening
Full ArticleIn a move which will provide patients, laboratories, pathologists, and physicians with access to leading-edge medical technology, Ampersand Medical Corporation and AmeriPath Inc. have formed a strategic alliance. The mutual agreement includes the joint development of new technologies and products. AmeriPath will receive an undisclosed amount of equity in Ampersand as a compensation for this development work. Additionally, AmeriPath will provide laboratory diagnostic services to Ampersand for a continued research and development, as well as clinical trials. Ampersand will pay AmeriPath for these services under favourable terms.
RealTimeImage's iPACS integrated into Wuestec's Digital Radiography suite for real time Internet Image Delivery
Full ArticleRealTimeImage, a provider of Internet-based image technology, has signed a licensing agreement with Wuestec Inc., an innovator in Digital Radiography (DR) and other advanced digital imaging technologies, for the use of RealTimeImage's iPACS software in the first DR suite enabled for immediate Internet Image Delivery (IID). Wuestec's digital radiography suite consists of a digital image receptor, Silicon Graphics workstations, an x-ray generator, high-resolution monitors, a radiographic stand, PACS viewing software, remote diagnostic capabilities, and an examination table.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Medical intelligent agent search engine Marvin is a prototype Grid application
Full ArticleIn a pioneering experiment, known as Health on the Net (HON), several Swiss organisations built an advanced intelligent agent based search engine called MARVIN, which searches the Internet for medical information. MARVIN, the Multi-Agent Retrieval Vagabond on Information Networks, was launched in January 1996, and can be considered a prototype for future implementations in the Grid's knowledge layer. The primary aim of MARVIN is to reduce the search space by considering and indexing only a specified area by filtering Web pages and to support the multilingual aspect of the Web. MARVIN, HON's own Web-spider, has been first applied to the medical domain. Armed with a dictionary of medical terms, MARVIN tirelessly skims the Web for new sources of medical information.
PKI-secured health care networks allow safe patient data transfer and medical consultation across Europe
Full ArticleWithin the European Commission's Fifth Framework Programme for Information Society Technologies (IST), a consortium of six partners has been awarded funding since January 2001 to build pan-European REgional Secure HEalth care Networks (RESHEN) based on the concepts of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and Trusted Third Parties (TTP). Three pilot sites will be established in Finland, Germany, and Greece to demonstrate in which ways medical information exchange with respect for privacy and safety can be set up between primary and secondary health care service providers on the one hand, and between doctors and pharmacies or patients on the other, both at a regional and cross-national level.
TelemediCare applies artificially intelligent bio-sensoring for distant patient monitoring
Full ArticleEight partners from Norway, Sweden, Greece, and Lithuania are working together in a 30-month project, started in January 2000 and funded by the European Commission, to introduce a new concept for tele-supported home care patient monitoring, utilising open platform telemedicine solutions. This TelemediCare initiative will apply the latest generation of intelligent bio-sensors, called Medical Net Instruments (MNI), that are able to communicate through a PC with professional health care providers. The MNIs will provide several kinds of real time monitoring services 24 hours a day to collect high-resolution medical data, crucial to both the surveillance and analysis of the home-based patient's condition.
Three-dimensional medical visualisation bound to break the limits of diagnostics and treatment
Full ArticleSince three years, a team of academic scientists from the Institute for Computer Graphics at the Vienna University of Technology is partnering with Tiani Medgraph GesmbH, an Austrian developer of Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS), in several research projects related to the 3D visualisation of medical data (VISMED). In collaboration with Real Time Visualization, an American 3D imaging expert, Tiani has introduced a new kind of technology, which is expanding every workstation in a hospital's network to the possibility of displaying 3D patient images. This sophisticated 3D diagnostic software tool will substantially change the way radiologists are tackling disease and treatment.
Docobo Ltd and Tartu University start first trial of unique telemedicine system doc@HOME
Full ArticleDocobo Ltd., an Estonian telehealth company, and the Tartu University Clinic have launched a medical trial involving fifty hypertension patients, with the aim to test the original health monitoring programme doc@HOME. The ability to get feedback from the doctor concerning everyday measurement opens up an entirely new quality in disease management.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
VivaScope's cellular imaging technology to replace invasive biopsy in early skin cancer detection
Full ArticleLucid Inc., developer and supplier of a revolutionary medical informatics platform that combines cellular imaging technology and Internet-based tele-pathology services recently showcased how its VivaScope 1000, a clinical laser scanning confocal microscope, has the potential to change the way in which many skin cancers are treated by enabling a truly non-invasive treatment system. If patients can be offered a painless, bloodless alternative to biopsy, they should be more likely to seek medical attention and to seek it earlier. This will eventually result in less radical treatments and far better outcomes on average.
National Jewish contracts PeopleMed.com to establish Internet-based respiratory disease management platform
Full ArticleNational Jewish Medical and Research Center, one of the world's premier respiratory medical and research centres, has signed a contract with PeopleMed.com Inc., a subsidiary of Global Med Technologies Inc., to utilise the company as an application service provider for its disease management programmes in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The five-year contract comes three months after the two companies agreed to jointly launch and develop an advanced, comprehensive Internet-based respiratory disease management programme for both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The National Jewish medical information will be integrated into the PeopleMed proprietary suite of Internet-based disease management products. The terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Major New York health system to sign IT outsourcing agreement with CSC and Superior
Full ArticleSuperior Consultant Holdings Corporation, a provider of Digital Business Transformation services to the health care industry, has teamed with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) on a major project under CSC's $200 million, multi-year outsourcing agreement to provide information management and technology services to Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers of New York (SVCMC). The $1.5 billion health system was formed through the merger of the Catholic Medical Centers of Brooklyn and Queens, St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center of Manhattan and Westchester County, and the Sisters of Charity Healthcare of Staten Island.
Abington Memorial Hospital to implement full spectrum of Eclipsys' integrated Sunrise solutions
Full ArticleAbington Memorial Hospital, a 508-bed regional teaching hospital in Pennsylvania, and Eclipsys Corporation, have signed a comprehensive, long-term strategic partnership agreement under which the hospital will replace its current information systems with a complete, integrated suite of Eclipsys' knowledge-driven Sunrise health care information solutions. The company will provide Abington with dedicated implementation services for critical Sunrise modules to promote rapid achievement of improved patient-care, financial and satisfaction outcomes throughout the enterprise.
ZEUS robot at once involved in lawsuit and in clinical surgery primeur
Full ArticleThe University of Pittsburgh is the first centre in the United States to use Computer Motion's ZEUS Robotic Surgical System during a beating heart cardiac bypass operation. Surgeons manipulated the three-armed robot during the most important part of the operation, when the artery being applied as the bypass graft is connected to the heart's main coronary artery. At the same time, Computer Motion Inc. was jointly sued by its competitor, Intuitive Surgical Inc., an expert in precision surgical robotics, and IBM in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
European Samba Telemedicine System offers American physicians ready access to clinical data
Full ArticleA new system being introduced in North America will allow physicians a better and more efficient method of accessing clinical data, including medical images from services such as pathology, dermatology, haematology, microbiology, and radiology, via a secure Internet connection. The system is the result of a joint agreement between Ampersand Medical Corporation, owner of the Samba Telemedicine System, and MedSpecialists Inc., a provider of medical speciality information-management solutions.
Medem-Prevea partnership to enhance the on-line patient-physician relationship
Full ArticleMedem, the secure patient-physician e-health network founded by a group of medical speciality societies and the American Medical Association (AMA), has closed an on-line partnership with Prevea Health Services. Under the agreement, Prevea's physician directory will provide access to physician Web sites on the Medem network. The physician listings in the directory will include direct links to practitioners' Web sites, enabling consumers who are looking for a physician to obtain far greater information, and offering broader access for patients and physicians on the Medem network.
CenterWatch to launch wireless PDA access to clinical trials information
Full ArticleCenterWatch has launched a wireless Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) suite of searchable databases, designed for clinical research and health care professionals seeking clinical trials information in a portable format. Using CenterWatch-Mobile, research and health care professionals will have ready access to information about investigational drugs and active clinical trials at the point of patient care. This information will assist professionals in determining more comprehensive treatment programmes and in identifying potential clinical trials for their patients.
Medical Equipment eMarketplace finds niche in enabling technology transfer to international locations
Full ArticleSoluMed.com is an established Internet company which has been successfully operating a medical equipment eMarketplace, Medical EquipNet, for international trade and has over five million hits to date. SoluMed's focus on facilitating international sales, a deliberate strategy of the company since its founding, constitutes a crucial point of differentiation from more recent entrants who are attempting to address the domestic United States medical equipment and supplies market, which is estimated at $62 billion out of the $159 billion worldwide.
Doctors seamlessly switch between paper and PDA using ttools' hybrid Stylus Pen
Full ArticleCurrently, personal digital assistants are used by nearly a third of all health care workers according to HIMMS, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. To allow physicians, clinicians, and nurses to switch between paper documents and personal digital assistants (PDA) more easily and efficiently, ttools LLC has developed a hybrid stylus pen which is safe to utilise on all personal digital assistant screens, and with an intuitive click, reveals an ink tip for use on paper.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Intel's Philanthropic Peer-to-Peer Programme, good for science, or good for marketing?
Full ArticleIntel has launched a peer-to-peer programme, under which people can download a programme onto their PCs which should perform scientific calculations for Cancer Research. Although this sounds very noble, it looks more like good marketing for Intel than really helping science. Intel calls its new programme "a philanthropic effort to help combat life-threatening diseases by linking millions of PCs to create the world's largest and most powerful computing resource". Joining the Intel Philanthropic Peer-to-Peer Programme are the American Cancer Society, the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR), the University of Oxford, and United Devices Inc.
Fourth Immersion Medical simulation module duplicates look and feel of sophisticated biopsy procedure
Full ArticleImmersion Medical, formerly HT Medical Systems, a Maryland-based, wholly owned subsidiary of Immersion Corporation, has released its Transbronchial Needle Aspiration simulation, the 4th Flexible Bronchoscopy module for the AccuTouch Endoscopy Simulator. The module is designed to help physicians acquire, maintain, and measure the skills required to perform sophisticated Transbronchial Needle Aspiration (TBNA) procedures, which are used to diagnose a variety of lung pathologies. The simulation enables physicians to practise the procedure as often as necessary without putting patients at risk.
Japan takes motivated plunge into surgery simulation and robot-enhanced interventions
Full ArticleIntegrated Surgical Systems Inc. (ISS), a pioneer in medical robotics and image-directed, semi-autonomous robotic products for surgical applications, has delivered yet another ROBODOC Surgical Assistant System to Japan, making a total seven systems. In turn, a research group from the Nagoya Institute of Technology in Japan has developed a virtual reality system which might be used in simulating surgical procedures.
Computer-controlled magnetic fields navigate instrument within blood vessels of human brain
Full ArticleWashington University physicians at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis completed the first use of a Magnetic Navigation System designed to use computer-controlled magnetic fields to steer an instrument within the blood vessels of the brain to reach an aneurysm, an abnormal blood-filled dilation of a blood vessel. Two procedures were successfully completed on a 55-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman by Dr. Christopher J. Moran. Although clinicians regularly navigate instruments, typically catheters or guidewires, manually to the brain through the femoral artery for the repair of aneurysms, this is the first time the instrument has been steered utilising computer-controlled magnetic fields.
Vesalius or the art of virtual dissection through 3D visualisation and body-mapping
Full ArticleAn interdisciplinary research team at Columbia University started a project, called Vesalius, in 1996 with the aim to build an interactive multi-media electronic learning environment to teach medical and dental students the principles of gross anatomy. To this purpose, the Columbia researchers generated a gallery of 3D photographic quality colour anatomy models based on the Visible Human Data sets, which can be manipulated in real time from any platform. At the same time, they also provided a knowledge base which serves as an ontology-based repository of anatomical information, associated with the 3D images. Both the gallery and knowledge base were then used to create course material for practical applications, including skull, pelvis, and neuro-anatomy lessons.
 

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© 2001, Genias Benelux

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