VMW Monthly - June 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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Contents June 2001 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
AdvancePCS and Tufts Health Plan sponsor PDA-equipped physicians in electronic prescription pilot
Tele-robotic microscope enables streaming video over the Internet for medical applications
Supercomputer analyses patient's genetic fingerprint to individualise cancer treatment
MedBiquitous Consortium to provide on-line medical communities with XML-based learning and working tools
New study on quality of on-line health information advises consumer to "click with care"
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
Web-native RIS and PACS application service provider platform to further refine telemedicine concept
Altera programmable logic supplier for da Vinci surgical robot
New module for seamless integration between RIS and PACS furthers filmless future of radiology
PatientKeeper mobile health care platform to reduce medical errors and clinical paperwork
Comdisco and SGI help hospitals address the digital imaging storage squeeze
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
National Health Service's e-Library launches Speech Therapy Portal for health professionals
German research council calls for standardisation and co-operation in embryonic stem cell research
Mobile multimedia terminal allows physician to carry a tele-radiology workstation in his pocket
GeneProt installs large Compaq server farm for protein research to diagnose and prevent diseases
Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine deploys funded services for diabetics, pregnant women and offshore workers
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Rotenburger Hospital in Germany readily switches from CASPAR to ROBODOC surgical assistant
M. D. Anderson Cancer Center to select Per-Se Technologies' Patient1 computer-based patient record solution
Singapore General Hospital to choose StorageTek solution for efficient data management
Cbyon's surgical guidance tool on the rise to become standard for minimally invasive procedures
New Institute for Computer Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery welcomes Anthony M. DiGioia III as director
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Elderly people to receive monitoring care in the "Hospital Without Walls"
Cyber-Care and BellSouth partner in tele-health screening sessions for senior golf players
Capsule launches new DataCaptor version for medical data acquisition in XML and HL7 formats
QRS Diagnostic to expand its medical device platform with updated Office and Pocket Medic software
MedFormatix and Xcare.net to develop first health care platform for Middle East
 
VMWC news bites
 
Cbyon Suite turns patient's inner body structures transparent to the surgeon's eye
3dMD's digital torso imager allows plastic surgeons to visually communicate with their patients
Neuro-surgeons use 3D Virtual Reality Dextroscope technology to assist in pre-operative planning
American thoracic surgeons meet with SOCRATES, Computer Motion's tele-collaborative surgical robot
Newest Immersion simulation module helps nurses train procedures for administering intravenous medication
 

Leads June 2001 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
AdvancePCS and Tufts Health Plan sponsor PDA-equipped physicians in electronic prescription pilot
Full ArticleA select group of 200 Massachusetts doctors has embarked on an innovative, electronic-prescribing pilot programme which employs wireless handheld organiser technology to enhance patient safety and significantly improve the efficiency of their practices at the point of care. AdvancePCS, a major health improvement company, and Tufts Health Plan, a not-for-profit managed care organisation offering a complete array of health care coverage products, are sponsoring the project. The co-operative effort is designed to measure and interpret the value of providing electronic prescribing and other features which can improve quality of care, manage drug costs, and reduce work flow inefficiencies.
Tele-robotic microscope enables streaming video over the Internet for medical applications
Full ArticleDr. Jay Yogeshwar, chief technology officer of Front Porch Digital Inc., a company specialised in the conversion, preservation and management of information assets, will work together with Rutgers University and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School researchers to develop the technology needed to create a "virtual" microscope which can broadcast real time images over the Internet. Although images currently can be transmitted over the Internet, they cannot be transmitted in streaming video formats with the high resolution necessary for medical applications.
Supercomputer analyses patient's genetic fingerprint to individualise cancer treatment
Full ArticleResearchers at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University are teaming with NuTec Sciences Inc. and IBM to develop an integrated information system which will enable physicians to tailor cancer treatments based on a patient's specific genetic makeup. NuTec and IBM have combined disparate technologies to create GenesysSI, a new generation of information system for the onco-pharmaceutical environment. This integrated genomics-based information management system incorporates technologies for storing, retrieving, processing, and analysing patient genetic and clinical data.
MedBiquitous Consortium to provide on-line medical communities with XML-based learning and working tools
Full ArticleJohns Hopkins has joined with a number of leading professional medical societies to create the MedBiquitous Consortium, a group which is dedicated to creating technology standards and software for education and collaboration in on-line medical communities. The Consortium will develop XML (Extensible Markup Language) specifications for areas of common interest to professional medical societies. IBM, Sun Microsystems, and Rational Software will be taking a major role in designing the Consortium's technical architecture.
New study on quality of on-line health information advises consumer to "click with care"
Full ArticleThe California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) has commissioned a study on the quality of health information on the Internet, conducted by RAND Health. Finding answers to important health questions using Internet search engines and simple search terms is far more difficult than one might expect. While the information that consumers find on Web sites is generally accurate, it is usually incomplete and hard for many readers to understand, according to the report featured in the May 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
Web-native RIS and PACS application service provider platform to further refine telemedicine concept
Full ArticleWebmedx Inc., a clinical application service provider (ASP) offering radiology information management solutions, has closed an agreement with AMICAS Inc., a developer of Web-based medical image management systems, to create the health care industry's first Web-native ASP Radiology Information and Picture Archiving and Communication System (RIS/PACS). The agreement integrates the Webmedx Radiology Information Service with AMICAS' amicas.net services, providing an affordable and convenient system for health care professionals to utilise in the creation, management, and distribution of radiology information.
Altera programmable logic supplier for da Vinci surgical robot
Full ArticleIntuitive Surgical Inc., specialised in precision surgical robotics, has selected programmable logic technology from Altera Corporation for its da Vinci Surgical System. This computer-assisted tool provides a surgeon with the intuitive control, range of motion, 3D visualisation characteristic, and fine tissue manipulation capability of open surgery, while at the same time allowing the surgeon to perform minimally invasive surgery through tiny 8-mm incisions.
New module for seamless integration between RIS and PACS furthers filmless future of radiology
Full ArticleRIS Logic Inc. recently introduced a novel capability for its RIS Logic Radiology Information System (RIS) which enables a customised integration with the popular RadWorks product. This new functionality offers expanded integration capabilities and streamlined efficiency for imaging centres and radiology work environments in small hospitals. The customised module for RadWorks allows two-way communication between RIS Logic and the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) for a faster, more thorough interpretation by a radiologist.
PatientKeeper mobile health care platform to reduce medical errors and clinical paperwork
Full ArticleIBM and PatientKeeper Inc. have set up a collaboration to offer a mobile health care platform to hospitals and other medical facilities in order to enhance patient care and reduce medical errors. PatientKeeper company is committed to creating an open architecture and universal platform for mobile health care computing, which will enable any internal or third-party application to be seamlessly integrated on one handheld device, while relying on IBM servers. The collaboration between PatientKeeper and IBM will begin immediately.
Comdisco and SGI help hospitals address the digital imaging storage squeeze
Full ArticleSGI and Comdisco Inc., through its health care group, have signed a contract to develop managed storage solutions for the health care industry. Designed to bring medical record keeping into the digital era, these solutions will allow health care providers to address exploding storage demands cost-effectively for digital medical images. The SGI and Comdisco agreement will provide a safe, accessible, alternative means of storing medical records, with the added security of disaster protection.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
National Health Service's e-Library launches Speech Therapy Portal for health professionals
Full ArticleThe British National electronic Library for Health (NeLH) has launched the first of a series of professional portals aimed at nurses and allied health professionals. The Speech and Language Portal offers a convenient and organised view of information available in the NeLH, tailored for speech and language therapists needs. During 2001, portals will be created for nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, podiatrists, dieticians, orthopaedists, psychologists, and radiographers. Access is via the World Wide Web and the majority of the site is accessible to both National Health Service (NHS) and non-NHS staff.
German research council calls for standardisation and co-operation in embryonic stem cell research
Full ArticleThe Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the central public funding organisation for academic research in Germany, has called for a graduated scheme for standardisation of and international co-operation in the research on "redundant" embryos under strict conditions. Conscious of the problems of producing human life for research, the DFG is however convinced that their recommendations are fair to both the German constitution and sense of justice and on the other hand respects scientific research and the justifiable interests of the ill.
Mobile multimedia terminal allows physician to carry a tele-radiology workstation in his pocket
Full ArticleNine partners from five countries are working together in a two-year project to design fully integrated personal digital assistant (PDA) devices and software applications, based on the upcoming third generation of GSM, known as Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS). This new type of mobile multimedia terminal will be used in four areas including tele-learning, tourist-guides, speech and speaker recognition systems, and tele-radiology. The tele-radiology application builds on know how from the 1996 CHILI project, in which a modular and scalable software architecture was developed for teleconferencing and second opinion consultations between remote radiologists. The current Multimedia Terminal Mobile (MTM) project is funded by the European Commission under the IST Programme.
GeneProt installs large Compaq server farm for protein research to diagnose and prevent diseases
Full ArticleGeneProt Inc. has opened the world's first large-scale proteomic discovery centre in Geneva, Switzerland. The facility will enable GeneProt to discover new drugs and biomarkers based on the body's own proteins. The new centre will run twenty hours a day and will utilise the supercomputing capabilities of Compaq Computer Corporation's AlphaServer systems, Tru64 UNIX software and StorageWorks systems to capture, store, and analyse the huge volumes of data generated by GeneProt's proteome analyses. GeneProt will identify and synthesise commercially viable novel therapeutics proteins in order to significantly shorten the time which is required for the discovery and development of novel therapeutic agents.
Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine deploys funded services for diabetics, pregnant women and offshore workers
Full ArticleAt the Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine (NST), four new projects received NOK 5.8 million in funding from various co-operating partners. The projects are designed to examine the potential of telemedicine for improving quality of patient care in various situations. The topics include automated monitoring of the blood sugar level for diabetics and the use of telemedicine solutions in maternity-homes and for injuries at sea.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Rotenburger Hospital in Germany readily switches from CASPAR to ROBODOC surgical assistant
Full ArticleIntegrated Surgical Systems Inc. (ISS), a specialist in medical robotics and image-directed, semi-autonomous robotic products for surgical applications, has received an order for the ROBODOC Surgical Assistant System for immediate delivery to the Evangelisch-Lutherischen Diakonessen Mutterhaus in Rotenburg, Germany.
M. D. Anderson Cancer Center to select Per-Se Technologies' Patient1 computer-based patient record solution
Full ArticlePer-Se Technologies Inc. has signed a contract with the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center to implement its Patient1 computer-based patient record (CPR) system for in-patient services. Houston-based M. D. Anderson Cancer Center plans to install Patient1 to automate all patient medical records. The 400-bed Comprehensive Cancer Center will implement Patient1 to improve care delivery, patient safety as well as the operational performance, positioning the institution to meet the demands of a projected 50 percent growth in patient and campus expansion over the next five years.
Singapore General Hospital to choose StorageTek solution for efficient data management
Full ArticleDoctors, nurses and other staff at Singapore General Hospital spent many months in search of a reliable and efficient IT system to access, maintain, and share hospital information. The hospital found that their current system did not allow for the easy management of data. They readily acknowledged the need for a newer, more technologically advanced data storage solution. StorageTek, an expert in tape automation, virtual storage and open storage area networks, responded to the hospital's search with a storage solution that includes one TimberWolf 9740 tape library, three 9840 tape drives, and the company's Application Storage Manager (ASM) software.
Cbyon's surgical guidance tool on the rise to become standard for minimally invasive procedures
Full ArticleChildren's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) has purchased the Cbyon Suite, making it the first Southern California health care provider to adopt the state-of-the-art surgical image guidance system. The Cbyon Suite is designed to enable minimally invasive surgery and help health care providers offer improved patient care at reduced costs. CHOC joins a number of leading surgical facilities across the United States which currently utilise the system, including Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona; the Cleveland Clinic Foundation; Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School; and Stanford University.
New Institute for Computer Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery welcomes Anthony M. DiGioia III as director
Full ArticleRenowned orthopaedic surgeon, Anthony M. DiGioia III, M.D., has been named director of the newly created Institute for Computer Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital. The Institute will be the only comprehensive centre in the region which combines computer assisted orthopaedic surgery research for total joint replacement with high quality, patient-focused clinical programmes, as well as a clinical outcomes programme based on the Total Joint Registry.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Elderly people to receive monitoring care in the "Hospital Without Walls"
Full ArticleNew Australian technology will achieve that some groups of elderly or chronically ill people may soon be able to stay at home rather than move into a hospital or a nursing home. The "Hospital Without Walls" home telecare project, developed by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has the potential to alter significantly the way in which certain elderly people and people with chronic health problems are cared for, according to researcher Dr. Robert Gill. In the future, the system will also be applied to areas such as chronic cardiac and respiratory disease and medication monitoring.
Cyber-Care and BellSouth partner in tele-health screening sessions for senior golf players
Full ArticleCyber-Care Inc. has participated with BellSouth in a medical tele-monitoring programme for golf players at the BellSouth Senior Classic at the Opryland tournament, held May 27 to June 3, 2001 in Nashville, Tennessee. The exclusive programme, that illustrates Cyber-Care's Electronic HouseCall System (EHC) and BellSouth's Fast Access Internet services, provides Senior Tour players and their spouses with on-site health screening evaluations.
Capsule launches new DataCaptor version for medical data acquisition in XML and HL7 formats
Full ArticleCapsule Technologie has released its DataCaptor version 4.0, the latest evolution of the medical device connectivity software. The new version provides data in XML and HL7 formats, the two most widely used standards in the health care industry, improving ease of data integration into clinical applications.
QRS Diagnostic to expand its medical device platform with updated Office and Pocket Medic software
Full ArticleQRS Diagnostic LLC has released two new versions of its popular medical device software programmes. Office Medic version 3.1 and Pocket Medic version 2.1 allow health care practitioners to perform diagnostic procedures on off-the-shelf personal and handheld computers using the company's PC Card medical device platform. QRS PC Cards perform pulse oximetry, spirometry, and electrocardiography (ECG), and will soon include blood pressure and vital signs monitoring.
MedFormatix and Xcare.net to develop first health care platform for Middle East
Full ArticleXCare.net Inc., an e-Business solutions and service provider, has signed a contract with MedFormatix of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. MedFormatix is the first medical application service provider (ASP) for the Saudi medical market and the Arabian Gulf Region. XCare.net has been selected by this company to be the exclusive technology platform partner in the development of their customised, interactive Web portal.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Cbyon Suite turns patient's inner body structures transparent to the surgeon's eye
Full ArticleCbyon Inc., a medical technology company, has introduced the Cbyon Suite during the recent annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The advanced image guidance system is optimised for use in neuro-, sinus- and spinal surgeries. The Cbyon Suite has been based on a proprietary software platform called Perspective Volume Rendering, that is developed by surgeons and biomedical engineers from the Image Guidance Laboratory in Stanford University's Department of Neuro-surgery.
3dMD's digital torso imager allows plastic surgeons to visually communicate with their patients
Full Article3dMD, an expert in 3D technology for health care, has launched its DSP800 device, the first three-dimensional torso imager, for the Aesthetic Meeting 2001, hosted by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation, held early May in New York. 3dMD's Digital Surface Photogrammetry (DSP) technology enables a health care professional to capture a digital 3D image, which on a monitor looks like a virtual sculpture of the patient, for examination and diagnosis versus just taking the two-dimensional photograph.
Neuro-surgeons use 3D Virtual Reality Dextroscope technology to assist in pre-operative planning
Full ArticleThe most difficult Siamese twin separation to date, performed in Singapore last April, benefited from rehearsals using the Dextroscope, a neuro-surgical planning system. This futuristic system was developed by Singapore-based Volume Interactions and is powered by high-performance Silicon Graphics Onyx family systems. The Dextroscope transforms two-dimensional images of patients' bodies into three-dimensional graphics, allowing neuro-surgeons to plan the best way to perform complex surgeries in advance.
American thoracic surgeons meet with SOCRATES, Computer Motion's tele-collaborative surgical robot
Full ArticleDuring the 81st annual meeting of the American Association of Thoracic Surgery, Computer Motion Inc., a developer of medical robotics, previewed its SOCRATES Tele-collaborative System. The SOCRATES system combines Computer Motion's unique surgical robotics and Operating Room networking technology with video telecommunication equipment to enable a new method of remote surgical training and education.
Newest Immersion simulation module helps nurses train procedures for administering intravenous medication
Full ArticleImmersion Medical, a wholly owned subsidiary of Immersion Corp. has released a new computer-based simulation for performing Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (PICCs). The PICC simulation mimics the look and "feel" of this common procedure, that is used to administer long term intravenous (IV) therapy. Approximately 600.000 PICC procedures are performed annually on patients requiring chemotherapy, antibiotics, and a wide variety of other medications. PICC constitutes the sixth IV simulation module designed by Immersion Medical to help clinicians acquire, maintain, and measure necessary skills without risking patients' safety.
 

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