VMW Monthly - December 2001 - ISSN 1388-722X



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Telemedicine & Telecare International Trade Fair

April 10-12, 2002 - Luxembourg, Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg

Telemedicine & Telecare International Trade Fair is bringing suppliers of telemedicine equipment and services together with buyers, health care professionals, institutional decision makers and policy makers. The event also integrates an extensive educational programme which will cover the results of recent pilot projects, presentations of products and services, and practical training sessions by exhibitors.

The theme of the event is "The Practical Applications", also relating to e-health.

General information and registration modalities are available at the Telemedicine & Telecare International Trade Fair Web site.

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. Check out the VMW Web site for the calendar of events, the various services, and the friendly advertising rates.

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Contents December 2001 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
Lokomat has paralysed patients use their legs again in robot-steered treadmill
North Carolina MCNC Corporation and IBM build Bioinformatics Grid to support drug discovery
Computer-processed images in hand-held devices will turn low-vision sufferers sharp-sighted
Tele-microscopy project applies grid technologies to study the brain
Proteomics fuels pharmaceuticals or where the rubber meets the road
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
PeopleMed.com and Philips Medical partner to expand disease management tool with home monitoring
Agfa integrates VIDAR film digitisers into IMPAX TS 5 Transmit and Preview Station
University of Alabama at Birmingham Heart Lab selects PV-WAVE as data visualisation solution
U.S. Army confirms belief in Med Diversified's Internet microscope technology
Queen's University uses Avaya Collaborative Video to develop tools for computer-aided orthopaedic surgery
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
European medical project partners gather around Open Source software and clinical validation issues
WebSET simulators to provide surgeons with objective training feedback and standardised procedures
Computer-based courseware familiarises medical students in Athens with laparoscopic procedures
Technically gifted clinician at Leeds General Infirmary contributes to ventricular catheterisation simulator
European committee on human genetics issues report with guidelines on genetic engineering
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Numoda handheld devices help North Philadelphia Health System save time and money
Crozer-Keystone Health System signs pact with Sunquest to deliver Laboratory Information System
Australian hospital to test CSIRO training simulator for gall bladder removal
Longmont United Hospital selects Sunquest to deliver its Flexirad Radiology Information System
Karl Storz delivers advanced surgical suites to new Texas Heart Institute's telemedicine centre
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Dimension Technologies granted award to produce second generation 3D autostereoscopic display
URAC explores aspects of e-health ethics in "The New Frontier"
Hughes Broadband Alliance Programme to run telemedicine and distance learning on SPACEWAY P2P platform
Canadian Government provides funding for ambulatory care services in Laval
Visualising medical documents becomes easy with CS-Odessa's ConceptDraw MEDICAL
Genias Benelux launches G-VMP Standard - Set up your magazine or newsletter in 30 minutes
 
VMWC news bites
 
Clustered health technology projects address emerging trends in imaging and language processing
Computer Motion awarded $2 million to combine surgical robotics with telemedicine
Smit & Nephew and URS Ortho integrate knee software into CASPAR robot for orthopaedic surgery
eHealth as new bag of physician tools, poised to transform economics of health care
IBM helps Proteome commercially deploy platform for proteome analysis
 

Leads December 2001 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
Lokomat has paralysed patients use their legs again in robot-steered treadmill
Full ArticleA revolutionary technology and robotic device that may help people with paralysis to walk again was unveiled for the first time in the United States at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago by Dr. David Chen, medical director of spinal cord injury rehabilitation at this Institute. Dr. Suzy Kim, a physician who has paraplegia, demonstrated the machine. The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago will use the machine technology initially for research. Pending Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, the Institute plans to use Lokomat in a clinical training programme within the next two years.
North Carolina MCNC Corporation and IBM build Bioinformatics Grid to support drug discovery
Full ArticleMCNC, formerly the Microelectonics Center of North Carolina, and IBM have closed an alliance to collaborate on one of the United States' first computer Grids to offer computing, data storage, and networking resources for life sciences research. The new Grid system will be accessible to thousands of researchers and educators throughout North Carolina to help accelerate the pace of genomic research that could lead to new medicines to combat diseases and more nutritious foods to feed the world's population.
Computer-processed images in hand-held devices will turn low-vision sufferers sharp-sighted
Full ArticleA computer graphics project at Cornell University could lead to an improved quality of life for people with visual disorders classified as "low vision". James Ferwerda, a research associate in the Cornell Programme of Computer Graphics, is developing computer simulations of the ways in which people with several kinds of low vision see the world. Working backward from these computer models, he plans to process images of the real world into forms that low-vision sufferers can more easily comprehend. The work is funded by a three-year, $450.000 grant from the United States National Science Foundation's (NSF) Information Technology Research programme.
Tele-microscopy project applies grid technologies to study the brain
Full ArticleThe smallest components of nerve cells can reveal fundamental insights into how the brain and nervous system work. To study these tiny structures in their natural environment requires access to extremely scarce advanced imaging instruments and powerful computer resources. The Telescience alpha project is harnessing the power of information grids to enable neuroscientists to unravel the complex interactions of molecular and cellular biological structures which underlie thinking and learning and give rise to debilitating diseases of the brain, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
Proteomics fuels pharmaceuticals or where the rubber meets the road
Full ArticleExperts representing the fields of biotechnology, financial services, information technology, science and medicine gathered to explore the early successes and ongoing challenges in proteomics-based drug discovery. A blue ribbon panel moderated by Dr. Eric Lander, Director Whitehead Centre Genomics Research, explored immediate and long-term effects proteomics had. The panel hosted by MDS Proteomics, a proteomics-based drug discovery company, was held in conjunction with the opening of its new global headquarters and fully operational large-scale proteomics research facility in Toronto.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
PeopleMed.com and Philips Medical partner to expand disease management tool with home monitoring
Full ArticlePeopleMed.com Inc., a subsidiary of Global Med Technologies Inc., an e-Health medical information technology company, signed an agreement with Philips Medical Systems, a division of Royal Philips Electronics, allowing both companies to promote the combined solution of PeopleMed.com's Web-based disease management system and Philips' wireless in-home monitoring solution, Interactive Healthcare Services (IHS).
Agfa integrates VIDAR film digitisers into IMPAX TS 5 Transmit and Preview Station
Full ArticleAgfa has chosen DiagnosticPRO plus and SIERRA plus film digitisers, developed by VIDAR Systems Corporation, for use in Agfa's IMPAX TS 5 Transmit and Preview Station. The IMPAX station combines the functions of film scanning, display, preview and send, and enables film acquisition and distribution to Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS).
University of Alabama at Birmingham Heart Lab selects PV-WAVE as data visualisation solution
Full ArticleThe University of Alabama at Birmingham's Cardiac Rhythm Management Laboratory (CRML) has selected PV-WAVE, developed by Visual Numerics Inc., an expert in data visualisation, numerical analysis, and enterprise software solutions, as its data visualisation software. Visual Numerics' product line includes the IMSL Libraries for mathematical and statistical analysis; the PV-WAVE Development Environment for desktop visual data analysis applications; the PV-WAVE Web Development Environment for network-based visual data analysis applications; and the PV-WAVE Applications and Toolkits for time-series data analysis, image processing, and signal processing. Financial terms of the contract with CRML were not disclosed.
U.S. Army confirms belief in Med Diversified's Internet microscope technology
Full ArticleContinuing to show its confidence in the efficacy of telemedicine technologies from Trestle Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Med Diversified, the United States Army recently installed additional MedMicroscopy systems for use at three sites: Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, and the Ireland Army Community Hospital at Fort Knox. This agreement holds a potential dollar value for Med Diversified in the multi-millions.
Queen's University uses Avaya Collaborative Video to develop tools for computer-aided orthopaedic surgery
Full ArticleThe Department of Computing and Information Science at Queen's University is using Avaya Collaborative Video, developed by Avaya Inc., to create the first, virtual integrated operating room with Kingston General Hospital. Graduate students and professors in the "O.R./2010: The Operation Room of the Next Decade" programme are working with Kingston General Hospital to develop a suite of diagnostic and surgical software tools which help surgeons plan and perform computer-assisted orthopaedic surgery.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
European medical project partners gather around Open Source software and clinical validation issues
Full ArticleOn November 19, 2001, the second subcluster meeting "Intelligent Systems for Minimally Invasive Diagnosis and Treatment Planning" took place in Brussels. The subcluster consists of medical projects in this field funded by the European Commission under the IST programme. The subcluster is part of the cluster "Intelligent Systems for Health Professionals", which includes a second subcluster called "Intelligent Systems for mobility of Health Professionals". The main goal of the meeting was to create synergy amongst the projects that are working in the same area. This starts, with knowing in detail what research is done in the other projects. Hence, the new project OTELO had a longer presentation. Furthermore, common problems and common opportunities were identified. The two major ones were the possible creation of an Open Source library of imaging algorithms and software, and experiences and procedures for clinical validation.
WebSET simulators to provide surgeons with objective training feedback and standardised procedures
Full ArticleDr. Jyoti, who works as a surgeon at St. Mary's Hospital in London, is one of the clinical end-users in the WebSET project, funded by the European Commission. The WebSET team develops Web-based 3D Standard Educational Tools for surgeons and medical students, among which are simulators for the training of specific medical procedures. At one of the recent working meetings of the consortium, Dr. Jyoti shared her experiences in using some initial prototypes of the WebSET simulators with Virtual Medical Worlds Magazine. Dr. Jyoti explained to VMW about the tasks she is performing as a surgeon, elicited the future role that WebSET can play in the daily clinical routine, and indicated to which extent simulation is able to improve the medical practice.
Computer-based courseware familiarises medical students in Athens with laparoscopic procedures
Full ArticleAt the University of Athens, Dr. Theodoros Diamantis is working as a general surgeon and an expert in laparoscopic procedures in the First Surgical Department. At present, his team is preparing a courseware for the two-year European WebSET project, in which standard educational tools are built to teach surgical skills over the Web by means of 3D computer simulation. The courseware will be applied at the University Hospital of Athens to teach young surgeons and medical students how to establish a new operative setting and how they can put the endoscopic tools safely into the patient's abdomen. This is the first step to start a laparoscopic procedure.
Technically gifted clinician at Leeds General Infirmary contributes to ventricular catheterisation simulator
Full ArticleRecently, Virtual Medical Worlds Magazine had a talk with Dr. Jan Lalik, who is a clinical research fellow in the Neurosurgical Department at the University of Leeds. Both as clinical and technical contributor, Dr. Lalik is participating in the WebSET project which was launched in May 2000 to design among other computer-based medical tools a set of simulators to train clinical procedures such as lumbar punction and ventricular catheterisation. When the project will be finished in May 2002, junior surgeons and medical students will be able to use the simulators over the Web.
European committee on human genetics issues report with guidelines on genetic engineering
Full ArticleThe European Parliament committee on human genetics has called for a public debate on genetic engineering. In a report on the social, legal, ethical, and economic implications of human genetics adopted on 6 November, the committee stated that the development and use of human genetics should be based on ethical principles. The report, prepared by the Parliament's temporary committee on human genetics and other new technologies in modern medicine, equally called for the launch of a public debate on the use of genetic engineering.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Numoda handheld devices help North Philadelphia Health System save time and money
Full ArticleNorth Philadelphia Health System (NPHS) has issued the results of a joint pilot project with Numoda Corporation that incorporated Numoda mobile wireless health care technologies, CareLink, into the everyday environment of the hospital setting. The outcomes clearly demonstrated that the cutting-edge technology brought the health system greater revenue as well as substantial savings and improved quality.
Crozer-Keystone Health System signs pact with Sunquest to deliver Laboratory Information System
Full ArticleSunquest Information Systems Inc. has signed a major contract with Pennsylvania-based Crozer-Keystone Health System for the purchase of the Sunquest FlexiLab Laboratory Information System (LIS). Designed as a comprehensive, high-performance laboratory information system that manages specimen data from requisition entry to production of the final cumulative report, Sunquest's LIS allows any user to virtually customise a laboratory system.
Australian hospital to test CSIRO training simulator for gall bladder removal
Full ArticleVirtual reality technology that will allow trainee surgeons to learn and practise on "virtual patients" is being trialled in the Division of Surgery at Nepean Hospital in Sydney. The technology, developed by scientists at the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), combines 3D images with an artificial sense of touch to create a realistic simulation of surgical procedures. Users not only see realistic "organs", they can "feel" and manipulate them too.
Longmont United Hospital selects Sunquest to deliver its Flexirad Radiology Information System
Full ArticleSunquest Information Systems, an expert in clinical data management and a business unit of Misys, has signed a significant agreement with Colorado-based Longmont United Hospital for their deployment of Sunquest's FlexiRad Radiology Information System (RIS). Designed to optimise daily operations for a radiology department, the Sunquest RIS enables hospitals to standardise radiology data management functions enterprise-wide, streamline both operations and work flow, facilitate orders, and intelligently schedule patients and radiology resources. The system also delivers patient tracking, film management, and feature-rich reporting.
Karl Storz delivers advanced surgical suites to new Texas Heart Institute's telemedicine centre
Full ArticleKarl Storz Endoscopy-America Inc., a specialist provider of diagnostic and operative endoscope technology, has installed two customised OR1 surgical suites at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, home of the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas. The OR1 surgical suites will be housed in the Denton A. Cooley Building, a new 312.000 square-foot facility dedicated to state-of-the-art approaches to treating cardiovascular disease, including gene therapy, vascular cell biology, heart transplantation, heart assist devices, and total artificial hearts.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Dimension Technologies granted award to produce second generation 3D autostereoscopic display
Full ArticleDimension Technologies Inc. (DTI), a company specialised in flat panel 3D display technology and a source of commercially available 2D/3D switchable LCD displays, has received a United States National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award. This SBIR project has the potential to produce a practical high resolution flat panel autostereoscopic display suitable for high resolution 3D imaging applications.
URAC explores aspects of e-health ethics in "The New Frontier"
Full ArticleURAC, the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission, in partnership with the Internet Healthcare Coalition, released the publication "The New Frontier: Exploring eHealth Ethics". The book compiles, for the first time, all the major ethical codes and guidelines for health Web sites. In addition, "The New Frontier" includes a variety of articles contributed by on-line health community leaders on topics including privacy and security, consumer trust, quality and oversight of on-line health. The publication also includes detailed results of the URAC/Harris Interactive survey of consumers' attitudes towards health Web sites.
Hughes Broadband Alliance Programme to run telemedicine and distance learning on SPACEWAY P2P platform
Full ArticleHughes Network Systems (HNS), a provider of broadband by satellite services, has established its new SPACEWAY Peer-to-Peer Application Center of Excellence. The centre has been initially staffed with more than 100 developers responsible for working with HNS customers and partners to build a range of next generation peer-to-peer applications. These include high-quality, secure, video-based tools for business and residential applications; distance learning-on-demand; and telemedicine. The company also has launched the Hughes Broadband Alliance Programme with Sun Microsystems, a provider of systems and services which power the Internet, and Polycom Inc., an expert in the convergence of interactive voice, video and data communications.
Canadian Government provides funding for ambulatory care services in Laval
Full ArticleStephane Dion, President of the Privy Council and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Carole-Marie Allard, M.P. for Laval East, and Raymonde Folco, M.P. for Laval West, have announced, on behalf of federal Health Minister Allan Rock, that the Government of Canada will contribute $5.5 million to the Laval regional ambulatory care services programme. This pilot project will re-engineer clinical processes and transform hospital care into ambulatory care.
Visualising medical documents becomes easy with CS-Odessa's ConceptDraw MEDICAL
Full ArticleComputer Systems Odessa Corp., a Ukraine-based software developer, has released ConceptDraw MEDICAL, a special branch-oriented edition of ConceptDraw Professional, a software for business and technical diagramming. The product is based on its powerful vector drawing engine. ConceptDraw MEDICAL is a cross-platform application for illustrating, visualising and demonstrating medical documents.
Genias Benelux launches G-VMP Standard - Set up your magazine or newsletter in 30 minutes
Full ArticleGenias Benelux bv, an XML software specialist, has released the Standard Edition of its popular XML-based G-VMP Virtual Media Publisher system for editing and managing magazines and newsletters. G-VMP Standard is the first affordable content management system of its kind. Up to now, you had to pay over 25.000 euro for such a system. G-VMP Standard Edition sells for 250 euro, bringing it in the range of everyone who needs to publish a magazine or newsletter.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Clustered health technology projects address emerging trends in imaging and language processing
Full ArticleDuring the recent subcluster meeting on "Intelligent Systems for Minimally Invasive Diagnosis and Treatment Planning", held in the buildings of the European Commission's Directorate-General for the Information Society, a few remarkable novelties were presented in diagnostic medical imaging as well as in intelligent interface technologies for medical information queries in databases. Attendants were introduced to the concepts of image fusion and Molecular Medicine, to Ultra Wide Band technology, and to a new middleware for natural language understanding designed for medically-related terminology.
Computer Motion awarded $2 million to combine surgical robotics with telemedicine
Full ArticleComputer Motion Inc., a developer of surgical robotic systems, has been awarded a $2.000.000 research and development grant from the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards (NIST), Advanced Technology Programme 2001 competition. Computer Motion selected Dr. Peter Schulam of University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, Dr. Ranjan Mukherjee of Michigan State University, and Dr. Steven Butner of University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), to collaborate on the development project that will combine surgical robotic systems with telemedicine to allow expert surgeons to closely guide in-training surgeons through complex minimally invasive surgical procedures.
Smit & Nephew and URS Ortho integrate knee software into CASPAR robot for orthopaedic surgery
Full ArticleSmith & Nephew, a medical device manufacturer, has signed an orthopaedics agreement with the German company URS Ortho GMBH & Co. KG to develop software which will allow surgeons to use computer-assisted surgical planning and robotics (CASPAR) technology when implanting Smith & Nephew knee systems. Under the agreement with Universal Robot Systems (URS) Ortho, the company will develop software that allows CASPAR to prepare bone for the various knee replacement components.
eHealth as new bag of physician tools, poised to transform economics of health care
Full ArticleThe latest issue of Harris Interactive Health Care News focuses on a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), titled "Vital Signs Update: Doctors Say eHealth Delivers". The report is based on newly released data from a nationwide survey of a cross section of 400 practising physicians which takes a closer look at how the Internet is influencing the physician's behaviour. With ehealth startups floundering, many health care players have been quick to discount the viability of ehealth. This recent survey of physicians, however, indicates that ehealth has quietly become a vibrant medium for reaching the medical community, and promises to gain even greater acceptance in the near future.
IBM helps Proteome commercially deploy platform for proteome analysis
Full ArticleIBM and Proteome Systems Ltd., a Sydney-based pioneer in proteomics technologies which help researchers identify and analyse proteins, have closed a global strategic alliance paving the way for more advanced scientific studies into proteins' role in preventing, causing and treating diseases. Through the agreement, IBM will provide the information technology (IT) backbone for Proteome Systems' commercial offerings, including its platform for proteome analysis, ProteomIQ. This new discovery platform offers a comprehensive suite of software, instruments and technologies for integrating, analysing, and managing a full range of protein data, including images and biological samples.
 

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