VMW Monthly - February 2002 - 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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*** Virtual Medical World Magazine's 2001 TOP 10 articles listing ***

European market trends in health telematics, 3D modelling and virtual reality for medical applications, emerging electronic medical record solutions, tele-monitoring, continuing medical education, and protein folding: these are the highest ranking topics in VMW's past year survey. Here is your chance to do some catching up with regard to the hottest items in medical IT of the year 2001.

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Contents February 2002 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
Endocare and Bay Area Mobile Medical create ten Cryosurgical Centres in New England
Canadian study shows patient benefits of systematic telescreening for diabetic retinopathy
nVAULT's HIPAA-compliant health deposit box to offer bank-style security for on-line medical records
U.S. Air Force and UPMC receive federal funding for Integrated Medical Information Technology System
Canadian rural doctors increasingly converted to Palm handhelds for efficient patient care
Health Alert Network and Siemens Medical set up biodefence pilot programme to tackle bioterrorism
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
TeleVital enables remote anaesthesiological monitoring over the Internet between Virginia and Ecuador
Biogen delivers educational tools and Internet services to neurologists through Salu's NeuroHub
IBM and Accelrys become partners to shorten development cycles for new drugs
DrFirst expands hospital and physician customer base offering e-prescribing and practice management tools
GMD's virtual patient records enhanced with RealTimeImage's iPACS lossless images viewer
ComSense's mic ChipSet with ComDot functionality integrated into MetrikLink health monitoring devices
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Irish Health and Safety Authority switches to 3Com Gigabit Ethernet for faster networking
United Kingdom plans funding for six Genetics Knowledge Parks and two Genetics Reference Laboratories
Primal Pictures wins EuroPrix multimedia prize as designer of Interactive 3D human anatomy CD ROM Series
GE Medical acquires Danica Biomedical to provide European hospitals with wireless telemetry
British-Danish research consortium brings human gene function step closer to full identification
Erasmus University, CHIRAD and Carelink organise Master Course Health Information Management
 
The 21st century hospital
 
New "Cancer Care Partnership" brings advanced treatment to patients in local communities
Hawaii Health Systems applies Trestle's wireless telemedicine system to bring diagnostics at patients' bedsides
Avaya delivers converged network for telemedicine and wireless communication at Kennedy Krieger Institute
Enterasys' wireless RoamAbout enhances electronic patient ChartSource in Concentra clinics
Handheld health care delivery and education to conquer Canadian hospital world
Siemens technology transforms earthquake-damaged hospital into 21st century health care model
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Medicomp to equip International Space Station with cardiac monitoring systems
Spacelabs introduces clinical workstation with monitoring and multiple source data integration capabilities
AdvancePCS purchases iScribe's mobile technology assets to enhance physician connectivity
Meridian's Telepulse oximeter yet another asset for non-invasive cardiopulmonary diagnostics
HealthProLink and Aether partner to enable mobile handheld system for hospital pharmacists
Academic Exchange Quarterly issues Call for Health Telematics and Telemedicine Papers
 
VMWC news bites
 
Brazilian surgeons use Computer Motion's AESOP robot in biventricular pacing procedure
Zeus robot for the first time used in kidney function repair in the United States
Intuitive's da Vinci robot and Estech's RAP catheter used in USA's first closed-chest heart bypass operation
Zeus robot used in delicate procedure to deblock baby stomach
SGI's advanced medical imaging technologies showcased at Medicine Meets Virtual Reality Conference
Immersion Medical simulators successfully validated in virtual bronchoscopy training tests by two medical studies
 

Leads February 2002 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
Endocare and Bay Area Mobile Medical create ten Cryosurgical Centres in New England
Full ArticleEndocare Inc., a developer of innovative temperature-based treatments for prostate cancer, has formed a strategic partnership with privately-held Bay Area Mobile Medical LLC (BAMM) to jointly form 10 regional cryosurgical Centres of Excellence throughout New England. The centres, each of which will be equipped with a complete Cryocare Surgical System, will collectively be called the New England Cryosurgical Alliance and be located in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
Canadian study shows patient benefits of systematic telescreening for diabetic retinopathy
Full ArticleThere is new hope for persons living with diabetes. Remote and discomfort-free screening for diabetic retinopathy is now possible thanks to a special digital camera used in a telemedicine situation that takes advantage of Québec's Réseau de Télécommunications Socio-Sanitaire (RTSS). During a study conducted in April 2001 in the Varennes-area, CLSC des Seigneuries validated the application of standard techniques required for the progressive implementation of an economical mass screening of diabetics. It was carried out under real conditions with its diabetic population, therefore using an uncontrolled study method.
nVAULT's HIPAA-compliant health deposit box to offer bank-style security for on-line medical records
Full ArticleThe Axess Media Group Ltd., a publicly traded Internet production and multi-media company, has launched the remarkably innovative Health Vault product developed by its member nVAULT for secure access and management of on-line medical records by patients and doctors around the world. Privacy and security concerns have continually plagued the health industry when it comes to the on-line dissemination of medical information. The nVAULT/Health Vault product not only addresses this problem, but may have even more significance in light of recent United States health privacy legislation.
U.S. Air Force and UPMC receive federal funding for Integrated Medical Information Technology System
Full ArticleIn a benchmark collaboration between an academic medical centre and a branch of the United States military, UPMC Health System and the U.S. Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) will work to develop sophisticated telemedicine technology which will ultimately link specialists in pathology, radiology and dermatology with outposts at distant locations around the globe. The partnership, which was made possible by an $8,5 million appropriation in the defence spending bill for 2002, brings together vast clinical and information technology expertise and will aid in the recognition and treatment of many types of medical conditions, including those caused by chemical or biological agents.
Canadian rural doctors increasingly converted to Palm handhelds for efficient patient care
Full ArticleWhile many cities across Canada lament the fact that doctors no longer make house calls, rural doctors are finding ways to thrive with new technologies which provide access to patient information directly at the point of care, be it in the office, during transport or even when making a house call, and in some cases it is proving to be a life-saving decision. Palm handhelds are becoming a critical tool for the rural general practitioner. Many doctors utilise them as references for information about rare diseases, calculators for medicine dosages, storage for prescriptions and medical textbooks, and to keep track of their constantly busy schedules.
Health Alert Network and Siemens Medical set up biodefence pilot programme to tackle bioterrorism
Full ArticleThe United States Department of Health and Human Services has launched an initiative which includes the Health Alert Network (HAN) developing a communications network used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to communicate with state and local health departments regarding possible disease outbreaks, or to provide warning if a disease outbreak is known to exist somewhere in the country. To this end, Siemens Medical Solutions will set up a programme with the Real Time Outbreak and Disease Surveillance (RODS) Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh for a public health surveillance and biodefence data network.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
TeleVital enables remote anaesthesiological monitoring over the Internet between Virginia and Ecuador
Full ArticleTeleVital Inc., specialised in Web-based telemedicine, recently achieved a significant milestone. The company's VitalWeb browser-based vital sign monitoring software enabled the first reported anaesthesiological monitoring of a surgical procedure over the Internet. Using TeleVital's VitalWeb, which monitors and records physiological data in real time over the Internet, a consulting anaesthesiologist at the Virginia Commonwealth University's (VCU) Medical College of Virginia Hospital monitored the breathing and heart rhythms of a young woman undergoing a gall bladder operation 3000 miles away in Sucua, Ecuador.
Biogen delivers educational tools and Internet services to neurologists through Salu's NeuroHub
Full ArticleBiogen Inc., the manufacturer of Avonex - Interferon beta-1a, a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS), will participate in NeuroHub, Salu's Medical Specialty Hub for neurologists. Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Biogen will offer neurologists access to NeuroHub Web capabilities. This will help Biogen to reach neurologists and their patients with information and educational materials about MS and Avonex, as well as information about any forthcoming drugs.
IBM and Accelrys become partners to shorten development cycles for new drugs
Full ArticleIBM and Accelrys Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Pharmacopeia Inc., have signed a global strategic alliance to enhance drug research and development operations by creating a collaborative information technology environment for chemists and biologists to develop new drugs faster, more efficiently, and at lower costs. Through the agreement, Accelrys, an expert in software development for life sciences, will become a premier partner in IBM's PartnerWorld for Developers Programme, a status reserved for top-tier strategic alliance partners.
DrFirst expands hospital and physician customer base offering e-prescribing and practice management tools
Full ArticleDrFirst.com Inc. and MedStar Health have signed an agreement for DrFirst to offer products and services to MedStar's community of physicians and health care facilities. Under this agreement, DrFirst will implement its Rcopia Network, which includes electronic prescribing, charge capture and secure messaging for physicians in a community-wide, integrated network which links to existing hospital information systems, at beta sites within MedStar Health. In addition, the Suburban Endoscopy Center, one of the most established outpatient centres for gastro-enterology procedures in the metropolitan Washington, DC area, has also joined the DrFirst.com network. The Suburban Endoscopy Center, a joint venture between the Suburban Hospital Healthcare System and several local physician practices, is subscribing to DrFirst's enterprise practice management software solution.
GMD's virtual patient records enhanced with RealTimeImage's iPACS lossless images viewer
Full ArticleRealTimeImage, a provider of Internet-based streaming solutions, has closed an agreement with GMD, a developer and marketer of an innovative virtual electronic patient record, to utilise RealTimeImage's iPACS software in its e-health.solutions product line. iPACS is a Web gateway for medical images providing immediate access to lossless diagnostic-quality images and image sequences over a full range of bandwidths, from simple telephone lines to fast LANs. No pre-processing or intermediate storage is required.
ComSense's mic ChipSet with ComDot functionality integrated into MetrikLink health monitoring devices
Full ArticleiMetrikus has selected ComSense's ComDot ChipSet Reader, an embedded microphone and firmware solution, for use with iMetrikus' MetrikLink device. MetrikLink uploads data from end-user health monitoring tools, such as blood glucose meters, to iMetrikus' MediCompass Personal Health Record over a standard phone line. MetrikLink, a non-PC connectivity device, helps patients to gain better control of medical conditions and provides an affordable, easy way to connect health monitoring tools to the Internet.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Irish Health and Safety Authority switches to 3Com Gigabit Ethernet for faster networking
Full ArticleInspectors with the Health & Safety Authority of Ireland now have faster access to essential health and safety information, regardless of their location, thanks to a high-speed Gigabit Ethernet network based on 3Com switching technology. The new infrastructure, up to 100 times faster than the previous network, has resolved the bandwidth issues and eliminated network jams which had threatened to undermine the efficiency of on-site workplace assessments.
United Kingdom plans funding for six Genetics Knowledge Parks and two Genetics Reference Laboratories
Full ArticleBritish Secretary of State for Health Alan Milburn has launched plans for the first national network of Genetic Knowledge Parks to put Britain at the leading edge of advances in genetic technology which could transform treatments and services for National Health Service (NHS) patients. The first wave of six Genetics Knowledge Parks has been scheduled for operational activity in Oxford, Cambridge, London, the NorthWest, Newcastle, and in Wales. In addition, two new National Genetics Reference Laboratories will be established in Salisbury and Manchester.
Primal Pictures wins EuroPrix multimedia prize as designer of Interactive 3D human anatomy CD ROM Series
Full ArticlePrimal Pictures Ltd., a United Kingdom company which has designed software providing detailed 3D images of human anatomy, has won the EuroPrix multimedia prize for learning and e-education. The Interactive Series CD ROMs provide a digital alternative to using cadavers for medical teaching. The award, voted by a jury of users and educators, was presented at the EuroPrix gala in Lisbon, Portugal, in December 2001.
GE Medical acquires Danica Biomedical to provide European hospitals with wireless telemetry
Full ArticleGE Medical Systems Information Technologies, a business unit of the General Electric Company, has finalised the acquisition of Danica Biomedical A/S, a Denmark-based provider of telemetry systems for health care organisations. The acquisition will allow GE to offer European health care providers with highly advanced wireless technologies which have EU radio frequency compliance, so patient information can be provided directly to physicians and nurses securely wherever they are in the hospital.
British-Danish research consortium brings human gene function step closer to full identification
Full ArticleA collaborative research project between scientists in the United Kingdom and Denmark has made a significant breakthrough in unravelling the secrets of the human genome. The scientists identified over 270 human proteins assembled in a part of the cell called the "nucleolus", where the machinery which makes proteins is housed. As a result, 18 new human genes have now been categorised.
Erasmus University, CHIRAD and Carelink organise Master Course Health Information Management
Full ArticleErasmus University Rotterdam in collaboration with CHIRAD in the United Kingdom and Carelink in Sweden will start a new masters degree course of health information management in March 2002, as announced by Professor Jos Aarts from the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Erasmus University. This course is aimed at busy health care professionals, managers and ICT-specialists who wish to design, introduce and evaluate information systems in complex health care organisations.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
New "Cancer Care Partnership" brings advanced treatment to patients in local communities
Full ArticleOfficials at three regional health systems and the West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) have formed a new cancer network serving the region. "Cancer Care Partnership" unites four cancer care programmes serving thirteen hospitals and numerous ambulatory care sites over a ten-county area and provides for expansion of cutting-edge technology in local communities.
Hawaii Health Systems applies Trestle's wireless telemedicine system to bring diagnostics at patients' bedsides
Full ArticleFurther validating the efficacy of telemedicine technologies from Trestle Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Med Diversified, Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) recently expanded its partnership with the company, to bring three additional MedReach systems, including two portable, wireless workstations to Hawaii. These next generation telemedicine hardware solutions, which will be utilised at HHSC's Oahu and neighbour island locations in conjunction with the currently deployed MedReach System, can be brought to a patient's bedside, enabling clinicians to deliver remote examinations, diagnoses and treatments through collaboration with specialists at other HHSC facilities without disrupting or moving a patient to another area of the hospital.
Avaya delivers converged network for telemedicine and wireless communication at Kennedy Krieger Institute
Full ArticleAvaya Inc., a global provider of voice and data networks to businesses, is installing a converged voice, video and data network for Kennedy Krieger Institute, a health care facility for children and adolescents with neurological disorders. Kennedy Krieger will use the network for advanced applications such as telemedicine, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and wireless technology. The Institute is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and cares for more than 10.000 children with brain and spinal cord injuries and genetic disorders each year.
Enterasys' wireless RoamAbout enhances electronic patient ChartSource in Concentra clinics
Full ArticleConcentra Health Services, a comprehensive occupational health care provider, has selected RoamAbout wireless technology, developed by Enterasys Networks Inc., a provider of enterprise networking solutions, to complete a new point-of-care application project designed to increase work flow efficiency and eliminate $3-5 million in third-party transcription costs. The wireless initiative incorporates RoamAbout mobile connectivity to deliver a customised software application called ChartSource, which enables physicians and physical therapists to electronically create patient care notes.
Handheld health care delivery and education to conquer Canadian hospital world
Full ArticleFaced with increasingly smaller budgets and a shortage of physicians, Canada's medical community is going digital to deliver better patient care and streamline processes. Health care professionals, medical researchers, doctors and interns regularly turn to Palm handhelds to assist them in day-to-day duties from illness assessment to ongoing patient management. Last year, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) cited that more than 25 percent of physicians under age 35 have used a PDA in clinical practice.
Siemens technology transforms earthquake-damaged hospital into 21st century health care model
Full ArticleSaint John's Health Center recently awarded Siemens Enterprise Networks (SEN) a $12 million information technology (IT) infrastructure integration project. This positions Siemens and the company's various operating units as the main solutions provider for the hospital in three core areas: IT applications and infrastructure, medical equipment, and "smart" building technologies.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Medicomp to equip International Space Station with cardiac monitoring systems
Full ArticleMedicomp Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of United Therapeutics Corporation, has been awarded a contract to supply cardiac monitoring equipment to the International Space Station. For the International Space Station project, Medicomp will supply its new generation of Holter Monitors utilising its patented DIOGENES algorithm and its flagship EPICARDIA system.
Spacelabs introduces clinical workstation with monitoring and multiple source data integration capabilities
Full ArticleSpacelabs Medical Inc. has launched its newest information integration product, the Intesys Central Workstation (ICW). The new ICW integrates world-class Ultraview central monitoring capabilities with the information management capabilities of Intesys clinical information systems products, and also performs as a portal to the hospital's information systems and the Internet.
AdvancePCS purchases iScribe's mobile technology assets to enhance physician connectivity
Full ArticleAdvancePCS, a health improvement company, has purchased software code and other assets of iScribe in order to expand its capabilities and expertise in the area of physician connectivity. This acquisition will help supplement internal efforts in the development of mobile electronic applications which deliver pharmacy benefit and prescribing information to physicians and other members of the care team at the point of care.
Meridian's Telepulse oximeter yet another asset for non-invasive cardiopulmonary diagnostics
Full ArticleMeridian Medical Technologies Inc. has introduced its new TelePulse oximeter, which allows the transmission of the blood oxygen levels of heart patients to medical personnel by telephone. The new device is now available in Europe and Israel, and the company also plans to seek clearance to market the innovative product in the United States.
HealthProLink and Aether partner to enable mobile handheld system for hospital pharmacists
Full ArticleHealthProLink Inc., a Bellevue-based mobile data solutions provider for the health care industry, has successfully deployed synchronisation and device management components of Aether Fusion, Aether's wireless technology foundation, to enable its HealthProLink handheld computer system. HealthProLink is designed to provide hospital pharmacists with secure mobile and wireless access to clinical tools, information and standardised reporting.
Academic Exchange Quarterly issues Call for Health Telematics and Telemedicine Papers
Full ArticleThe Fall 2002 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Academic Exchange Quarterly (AEQ) will be devoted to education in the fields of Health Informatics and Telemedicine. Editor and Director of the Ph.D. Programme in Health Services at Walden University, William H. Wiist, invites experts in the field who are teaching health informatics, telemedicine, medical informatics, public health informatics, nursing informatics, biomedical informatics, or health information management to submit a manuscript before the deadline of May 1, 2002.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Brazilian surgeons use Computer Motion's AESOP robot in biventricular pacing procedure
Full ArticleSurgeons from the Institute of Cardiology in Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil, have performed a series of robotically assisted minimally invasive procedures to treat congestive heart failure. In all these interventions, the surgical team used the AESOP Robotic Endoscope Positioner, developed by Computer Motion. As such, AESOP will expand the market for robotic devices to include application in interventional cardiology for minimally invasive placement of electrical leads.
Zeus robot for the first time used in kidney function repair in the United States
Full ArticleSurgeons at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) performed the first abdominal surgery in Southern California with a robot on January 7, 2002. Using the new robotic system called ZEUS, surgeons reconstructed the drainage system of a kidney on a 22-year old female UCLA student. This is the first time in the United States that the ZEUS Robotic Surgical System has been used for this type of laparoscopic surgical procedure.
Intuitive's da Vinci robot and Estech's RAP catheter used in USA's first closed-chest heart bypass operation
Full ArticleA team of cardiac surgeons led by Dr. Michael Argenziano from the New York Presbyterian Hospital's Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center has completed the first ever closed-chest, totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass (TECAB) surgery in the United States. This TECAB procedure, which was performed on January 15, 2002, using the da Vinci Surgical System and the Estech Remote Access Perfusion (RAP) catheter from start to finish, begins Intuitive Surgical's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) TECAB clinical study which will involve several major medical centres in the United States.
Zeus robot used in delicate procedure to deblock baby stomach
Full ArticleFor the second time in 14 months, Dr. Celeste Hollands and her surgical team have performed a minimally invasive surgical procedure using Computer Motion's robotic system called Zeus. Dr. Hollands of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) corrected a stomach blockage in a 19-day-old infant. The first such robotic surgery worldwide, the procedure conformed to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for use of Zeus. The infant, a patient at LSU Hospital, is doing well.
SGI's advanced medical imaging technologies showcased at Medicine Meets Virtual Reality Conference
Full ArticleSGI showcased technologies which are revolutionising the high-end medical visualisation market at the 10th Annual Medicine Meets Virtual Reality (MMVR) Conference, January 23-26, 2002. SGI's presence and interactive display at the conference further demonstrated its position as a leader in visualisation and virtual reality technologies for medical applications.
Immersion Medical simulators successfully validated in virtual bronchoscopy training tests by two medical studies
Full ArticleTwo new medical studies validate the use of medical simulators as an effective method of training doctors and ultimately delivering higher quality patient care, as announced by Immersion Medical, a wholly owned subsidiary of Immersion Corporation, a developer of medical simulators. These two independent studies, conducted by the University of California at San Diego and Cleveland Clinic Foundation with the University of Maryland and North Shore University Hospital, reveal positive results about how simulators can objectively measure and improve a physician's level of skill.
 

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