IBM Supercomputer powers testing of Elecro-Optical Sciences' melanoma diagnosis tools

Armonk 12 September 2003Electro-Optical Sciences will be using IBM's deep computing on demand facility to access supercomputing power over the Internet, helping to free them from the fixed costs and management responsibility of owning and operating a supercomputer. Electro-Optical Sciences (EOS) is the first example of a life sciences customer using IBM's deep computing on demand facility. EOS has created MelaFind, a computerized hand-held diagnostic device for non-invasive early detection of malignant melanoma, which could be used by a doctor or nurse while a patient is still in the office.


The IBM on demand facility will provide variable peakload compute capacity to respond to requirements beyond the capabilities of EOS' in-house systems. Such requirements may include, for example, analysis of clinical trial data, the preparation of documentation for the FDA, and validation of ongoing product enhancements.

EOS is a medical technology company that designs and develops light-based computer vision systems for the early detection of epithelial cancers and other tissue diseases.

"MelaFind's computer vision can outperform human vision in clinical detection of melanoma", stated Dr. Marek Elbaum, CEO, Electro-Optical Sciences. "Adding the supercomputing power allows us to rapidly train the statistical pattern recognition algorithms that we use to differentiate images of melanoma from benign look-alike lesions in order to render a reliable and objective diagnosis."

The EOS technology has been applied to the detection of early melanoma, the early detection of tooth decay, for chronic wound management, and it has potential applications for the early detection of other cancers. "The on demand computing model helps allow customers to avoid technological risk as well as the financial risk associated with ownership", stated David Turek, vice president, IBM Deep Computing. "Deep computing on demand is designed to fulfil those two goals, freeing customers to focus on growing their business."

With deep computing on demand customers can:

  • help avoid large IT capital outlays and long term depreciation or lease schedules. This is especially important for companies with short term projects.
  • bring to bear, on a temporary basis, massive amounts of compute power that could be otherwise unaffordable and which helps provide strategic insight
  • help lower overall operating costs
  • help improve price/performance for compute-intensive applications and processing of massive amounts of data
  • off-load certain system maintenance to IBM
  • use the latest technologies to help maximize performance
  • meet the urgent computational needs of new business opportunities that could otherwise be cost-prohibitive

The deep computing on demand facility is located in a highly secure section of IBM's Poughkeepsie, New York plant. The system consists of a cluster of IBM eServer xSeries Intel-based Linux systems with related disk storage, and is planned to include pSeries UNIX servers. Designed for scalability to meet increased demand, the deep computing on demand facility is also planned to incorporate a variety of blade technologies and AMD technologies over time.

The service caters to a broad spectrum of companies that have peaks and valleys in their need for supercomputing power. These could include Hollywood studios that may need to use supercomputing power to create animated movies as well as petroleum companies for seismic imaging and research. Financial services organisations, government agencies and national research laboratories could also be potential customers.

Leslie Versweyveld

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