VMW Monthly - April 2004 - ISSN 1388-722X



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International Congress on Medical and Care Compunetics

June 2-4, 2004, The Hague, The Netherlands

The goal of the ICMCC is to cover a broad field of subjects, concentrating on bringing together industry and science in an attempt to catch up on the speed of developments in the various areas and to cover the spectacular growth of IT in these fields.

Each ICMCC event will concentrate on the most topical aspects with the first event covering Store & Forward Telemedicine, IT for Handicapped and Elderly, Disaster Medicine, Personal IT, Mobile Medical Services, Hospital IT, Health care and IT, Health GRID, System Integration, Usability, Imaging and IT and Neuropsychology.

More info is available at the ICMCC 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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*** Highlights from the International Supercomputing Conference 2003 in Heidelberg ***

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Contents April 2004 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
Misys joins American Academy of Family Physicians Partners for Patients Initiative
Minimally invasive spine surgery system available to back pain sufferers in Southwest of United States
Human studies show feasibility of brain-machine interfaces for patients to operate external devices
Photonics Center to launch NanoPhototonics Laboratory
San Diego Supercomputer Center to release Molecular Biology Toolkit for protein visualization and analysis
 
Grid for Health
 
Use of Grid technology in health areas gains footing at Second European HealthGrid Event
University of Oregon and IBM build ICONIC Grid to speed brain wave analysis
Present status and future prospects of Grid contribution to health care
University at Buffalo to use IBM supercomputer and storage system for advanced bioinformatics and genomic research
Aesculap expands into new health care markets with PLM solutions from IBM and Dassault Systèmes
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Baycrest Centre switches to Aruba Wireless Networks for secure support of mobile voice and data applications
Frost & Sullivan study shows wireless solutions help health care professionals meet need of the hour
Mobile health care could become as compelling as text messaging, states Wireless Healthcare report
German researchers aim to set patients free with wireless telemedicine applications
Bodylife helps measuring nutritional status and health using intelligent sensors
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
Philips introduces product advances and research initiatives for the cardiovascular market
CompuMed signs licensing agreement with eTrauma orthopaedic imaging provider
Siemens and HipGraphics sign contract for further development of InSpace 3D medical imaging software
Cedara to introduce new products for multi-slice CT reporting, mammography screening, orthopaedic applications and 3D segmentation
Sensant recognized for research in 3D ultrasound imaging by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Technological improvements spur growth in the European cardiovascular monitoring market
Eurpean Union nanotechnology project to reconstruct human corneas using tissue engineering
Two Irish health care clinics choose CoPathPlus from Misys to enhance pathology operations, cash flow and support
Eutist-M develops new medical information technologies in areas including radiology and surgery
OTELO consortium to organise a tele-echography live demonstration in Italy
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Visicu life saving ICU technology to be offered throughout Inova's northern Virginia and Avera's Dakota Hospitals
Massachusetts General Hospital selects Misys Pharmacy and Misys Insight to enhance patient safety
Universal Health Services, Christus Health and Mercy Health System select Zix for secure e-messaging services
Digital Speed changing the face of community-based health care at St. Joseph's in Toronto
Heartlab's Encompass for cardiac image and information management selected by Trillium Health Centre and Memorial Hermann Healthcare System
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Smith & Nephew introduces innovative lighting system for minimally invasive joint replacement surgery
BeautySurge.com launches on-line cosmetic surgery digital imaging services
Delft Diagnostic Imaging shows further development of the new ViewPro-X workstation
Israeli breakthrough miniature robotic technology to assist in spine surgery
Saint Francis University's Cermusa and BodyMedia collaborate on telemedicine solution for patients with diabetes and obesity
 
VMWC news bites
 
Neurosurgical robot may boost brain operations in near future
Michigan's Community Health Center installs BrainLab's VectorVision sky for image-guided surgery
PAMELA offers possibility of rapid and early warning detection of prostate cancer
Eurosca project will map and try to cure patients suffering from spinocerebellar ataxias
Immersion Medical to introduce new endovascular simulation system
 

Leads April 2004 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
Misys joins American Academy of Family Physicians Partners for Patients Initiative
Full ArticleMisys Healthcare Systems has joined the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) in its goal to provide quality electronic health record (EHR) products to family physicians. Misys Healthcare Systems signed a Declaration of Support for Partners for Patients, an initiative in which health care IT vendors work with the AAFP to ensure that patients receive the most timely, appropriate and efficient medical care possible. As part of this initiative, the AAFP stresses the need for quality EHR solutions that meet four principles: affordability, compatibility, interoperability, and data stewardship in the hands of the physicians.
Minimally invasive spine surgery system available to back pain sufferers in Southwest of United States
Full ArticleMichael H. Winer, M.D., F.A.O.O.S., of Arizona Spine Care Alliance, is providing patients in the Phoenix area with a new, safe and minimally invasive option to treat serious spine disease. The Atavi Atraumatic Spine Surgery System, developed by Endius, provides a less traumatic and potentially more effective treatment alternative to traditional spine surgery for chronic back pain. Dr. Winer performs this minimally invasive procedure at several locations in the greater Phoenix area, including Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn and Arizona Surgical Hospital.
Human studies show feasibility of brain-machine interfaces for patients to operate external devices
Full ArticleIn their first human studies of the feasibility of using brain signals to operate external devices, researchers at Duke University Medical Center report that arrays of electrodes can provide useable signals for controlling such devices. The research team is now working to develop prototype devices that may enable paralyzed people to operate "neuroprosthetic" and other external devices using only their brain signals. While the new studies provide an initial proof of principle that human application of brain-machine interfaces is possible, the researchers emphasize that many years of development and clinical testing will be required before such neuroprosthetic devices are available.
Photonics Center to launch NanoPhototonics Laboratory
Full ArticleThe Photonics Center at Boston University has commenced construction of a new, $1,5 million-dollar NanoPhototonics Laboratory, scheduled to open this September, 2004. The unique facility will enable engineers and developers from different industries and areas of specialization to integrate advances in nanophotonics, nanobiosystems, and nano-electromechanical systems (NEMS) into application focused platforms.
San Diego Supercomputer Center to release Molecular Biology Toolkit for protein visualization and analysis
Full ArticleResearchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) have released the Molecular Biology Toolkit (MBT), a set of Java-based software libraries for manipulating, analysing, and visualizing information about proteins, DNA, and RNA. This first major release of the MBT runs under the Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, and IRIX operating systems, another advantage, since very few off-the-shelf packages enable applications to run seamlessly on several different computer platforms. The MBT includes source code, example applications, a Programmer's Guide, an Application Programme Interface (API) document, a Build Guide, and a Binary Installation Guide.
 
Grid for Health
 
Use of Grid technology in health areas gains footing at Second European HealthGrid Event
Full ArticleAt the closing of the Second European HealthGrid Conference, held in Clermont-Ferrand, France at the end of January, Richard McClatchey from the University of West England presented a personal summary of the past event and the future directions of Grid developments and policies in health care. The speaker thus caught an eye on the history of HealthGrids; the role and positioning of the newly established HealthGrid Association, especially with respect to the European Research Area; current health-related Grids projects in progress; and the Third European HealthGrid Conference, which will be organised March 2005 in Oxford, the United Kingdom.
University of Oregon and IBM build ICONIC Grid to speed brain wave analysis
Full ArticleThe University of Oregon, Electrical Geodesics Inc. (EGI) and IBM have launched a new project that uses Grid computing, Linux and IBM supercomputer technology to speed and improve the diagnosis of brain conditions, including epilepsy, stroke and depression.
Present status and future prospects of Grid contribution to health care
Full ArticleAt the Second European HealthGrid Conference, keynote speaker Ignacio Blanquer from the Universidad Politécnica of Valencia in Spain defined the Grid as a possible health care provision tool provided it can respond to the needs of the health care professionals and overcome the barriers which are typical for the health care sector. Currently, there are already a variety of driving factors for the Grid to play a major role in health care as is shown by the EGEE Grid, a production Grid infrastructure at European level for the purpose of Enabling Grids for E-Science in Europe (EGEE).
University at Buffalo to use IBM supercomputer and storage system for advanced bioinformatics and genomic research
Full ArticleThe University at Buffalo (UB) Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics at the State University of New York, will use IBM technologies and research expertise to study the structure and behaviour of human proteins. The outcome of this research could lead to more targeted drugs to treat diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, AIDS and multiple sclerosis.
Aesculap expands into new health care markets with PLM solutions from IBM and Dassault Systèmes
Full ArticleAesculap SA, the French division of B. Braun responsible for the development of medical implants, will expand use of the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, developed by IBM and Dassault Systèmes. Aesculap has achieved international success using the virtual product development platform from IBM and Dassault Systèmes to develop technologically advanced orthopaedic implants that meet the strict health regulations of major global markets.
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Baycrest Centre switches to Aruba Wireless Networks for secure support of mobile voice and data applications
Full ArticleBaycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, a recognized expert in geriatric research and provider of specialized health services for the elderly, has replaced their distributed legacy wireless environment with Aruba's centralized wireless LAN switching system to support mobile data and voice connectivity throughout its multi-building campus in Toronto, Canada.
Frost & Sullivan study shows wireless solutions help health care professionals meet need of the hour
Full ArticleCash-strapped hospitals in the United States are finding it increasingly difficult to provide patients with anything more than the standard levels of medical care. Rising patient volumes, acute staff shortages, and a rapidly aging population are not only compromising patient quality of care, but also resulting in more frequent instances of medical errors and adverse drug effects (ADEs). New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, "U.S. Emerging Wireless Markets for Patient Care", reveals that revenues in this industry totalled $330,0 million in 2003 and are projected to reach $637,3 million by 2007.
Mobile health care could become as compelling as text messaging, states Wireless Healthcare report
Full ArticleHealth care and mobile phones are usually only mentioned in the same sentence during debates about the safety of handsets and masts. This could change over the coming years according to a report just published by the Cambridge-based consultancy Wireless Healthcare. The report suggests mobile operators could play a key role in providing public health care services.
German researchers aim to set patients free with wireless telemedicine applications
Full ArticleResearchers from three Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany have developed a wireless armband that can monitor vital signs such as temperature, pulse, blood oxygen saturation and heart rate, a move that could improve the lives of hospitalised patients and the elderly. The multi sensor armband, which is worn on the wrist, has been developed as part of the Body Area Network (BAN) project, described by the Fraunhofer Institute as "a key foundation for the use of telemedicine applications". The BAN project is supported by the German Ministry for Education and Research.
Bodylife helps measuring nutritional status and health using intelligent sensors
Full ArticleMonitoring child development, recovery from injury or surgery, body changes during diet and exercise is now simpler thanks to an innovative non-invasive system that measures nutritional status and health developed by Bodylife. Using intelligent instruments, sensors and software, the seven consortium members developed a body fat and water measuring system for the whole body. The easy-to-use, reliable and non-hazardous system can be used at clinics, in hospitals, by patients at home or in fitness centres, allowing clients to monitor how their shape and body composition changes through exercise.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
Philips introduces product advances and research initiatives for the cardiovascular market
Full ArticleSeveral of Royal Philips Electronics' industry-leading products now feature cardiovascular specific advances designed to increase medical facilities' operational efficiency, cost-savings and improve patient outcomes. Philips developed many of the products, which were showcased at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Annual Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, in collaboration with its cardiovascular customers. In addition, Philips is working with several research partners to develop new technologies for early detection and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
CompuMed signs licensing agreement with eTrauma orthopaedic imaging provider
Full ArticleCompuMed Inc., a medical informatics company serving the health care community with diagnostic software solutions, has signed a licensing agreement with orthopaedic practice imaging provider eTrauma Corporation, located in Deerfield Beach, Florida. The agreement authorizes eTrauma to integrate CompuMed's proprietary OsteoGram software into its OfficePACS digital imaging communications and storage system, which is designed specifically for orthopaedic group practices.
Siemens and HipGraphics sign contract for further development of InSpace 3D medical imaging software
Full ArticleSiemens Medical Solutions and HipGraphics Inc. have signed an exclusive agreement for further development of the state-of-the-art, interactive 3D medical imaging application, syngo InSpace. Under this agreement, the two companies, which have been co-operating successfully on the development of 3D diagnostic imaging applications since 1992, will continue to advance the capabilities of this unique software.
Cedara to introduce new products for multi-slice CT reporting, mammography screening, orthopaedic applications and 3D segmentation
Full ArticleCedara Software Corporation, an independent developer of medical software technologies for the global health care market, has presented its latest health care imaging products at the 2004 European Congress of Radiology Conference, held in Vienna, Austria, March 5-9, 2004. ECR 2004 provided Cedara with a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how its Web-ready clinical solutions meet today's complex health challenges.
Sensant recognized for research in 3D ultrasound imaging by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Full ArticleSensant has been recognized by DARPA, the central research and development organisation of the United States' Department of Defense, for outstanding performance in DARPA's Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) programme. Sensant's work developing silicon-based ultrasound sensor technology will enable three-dimensional ultrasound systems for medical imaging in combat situations. Such systems would provide critical insight into the nature of injuries to members of the armed forces and would also have broad applicability in non-military applications such as emergency medicine.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Technological improvements spur growth in the European cardiovascular monitoring market
Full ArticleEurope trails the United States and Japan as the third largest regional market for cardiovascular monitoring equipment. In 2003, it generated revenues worth $111,9 million. Driven by technological advances and product replacements, the European market is poised to expand to $133,1 million in 2009. Similar to the United States, the cardiovascular monitoring market in Europe is well established. Growth is expected to be sustained by technological enhancements that promote greater user friendliness, improved networking and communication capabilities of the equipment and offer greater cost-efficiencies, according to Frost & Sullivan research.
Eurpean Union nanotechnology project to reconstruct human corneas using tissue engineering
Full ArticleA new European Union funded project is set to transform eye surgery and dramatically cut the number of experiments conducted on animals by reconstructing a human cornea in vitro. The "Cornea Engineering" project is adopting a unique approach to corneal replacements, using tissue engineering to create a three-dimensional human cornea. This is the first time that this feat will have been attempted in Europe, although similar research is being conducted in the United States and Canada.
Two Irish health care clinics choose CoPathPlus from Misys to enhance pathology operations, cash flow and support
Full ArticleTwo private laboratories in Ireland have selected CoPathPlus from Misys Healthcare Systems, its anatomic pathology information system. Bon Secours Clinic in Cork, a member of a large international private network, and Blackrock Clinic in Dublin are replacing their pathology legacy systems with CoPathPlus, establishing Misys as one of the fastest-growing laboratory system suppliers in Ireland.
Eutist-M develops new medical information technologies in areas including radiology and surgery
Full ArticleWhen several world firsts emerge from eleven European medical projects, the benefits of uniting become clear. Under the banner of Eutist-M, researchers, technology providers and end-users have combined forces to demonstrate some exciting new medical information technologies. Finished products and advanced prototype systems from this IST programme-funded umbrella project's various application areas - radiology, ear fitting, orthopaedics, oncology, intensive care units, surgery, and dermatology - will be on show at the April 2004 edition of Med-e-Tel, in Luxembourg. Visitors will see a range of groundbreaking software and hardware systems.
OTELO consortium to organise a tele-echography live demonstration in Italy
Full ArticleIn the frame of the European Commission IST Programme, the OTELO team has organised a live demonstration on a satellite-based robotic tele-echography system. The system is designed for providing fully integrated end-to-end mobile tele-echography examinations dedicated to population groups isolated from medical facilities, either temporarily or permanently, and especially from ultrasound experts. The demonstration was organised in Avezzano, Italy at Elsacom Gateway, one of the project consortium members. The OTELO project, partially funded by the European Commission, is led by nine partners originating from five countries including France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Greece.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Visicu life saving ICU technology to be offered throughout Inova's northern Virginia and Avera's Dakota Hospitals
Full ArticleInova Health System, a four hospital system headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, will be the first health system in the Washington DC metropolitan area to offer its critical care patients Visicu's eICU technology. In addition, Avera Health, headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has purchased the same eICU solution and plans to bring the life saving technology to ICU facilities throughout its five-state region.
Massachusetts General Hospital selects Misys Pharmacy and Misys Insight to enhance patient safety
Full ArticleMisys Healthcare Systems has signed an agreement with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston. The contract covers the acquisition, deployment and software maintenance of Misys Pharmacy and Misys Insight clinical information systems. Massachusetts General Hospital will use these solutions to enhance patient safety and reduce medication-related errors in pharmacy and other clinical departments.
Universal Health Services, Christus Health and Mercy Health System select Zix for secure e-messaging services
Full ArticleMercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware Valley's largest Catholic health care system and a member of Catholic Health East, has selected ZixCorp as its e-mail security solution. Texas-based CHRISTUS Health, another Catholic health system with more than 40 hospitals and long-term care facilities in more than 70 cities, has also chosen ZixCorp to meet its secure e-messaging needs. Universal Health Services (UHS) went for ZixCorp as well. The corporation, with over 30.000 employees, purchased ZixCorp communications protection services.
Digital Speed changing the face of community-based health care at St. Joseph's in Toronto
Full ArticleDigital Speed Inc.'s award-winning mobile and wireless technology has been selected by St. Joseph's Health Centre, based in Toronto, to provide mobile and wireless capabilities to the institution's community-based health care research studies. St. Joseph's staff members and researchers will use a centralized mobile and wireless management platform to quickly create dynamic research studies that will allow seamless, one step, data collection by any mobile device or PC. The XML data collected is delivered to all types of computing systems for immediate analysis.
Heartlab's Encompass for cardiac image and information management selected by Trillium Health Centre and Memorial Hermann Healthcare System
Full ArticleTrillium Health Centre, a Canadian health care provider in Mississauga and Etobicoke, Ontario, has selected Heartlab's Encompass Cardiac Network to manage the enterprise-wide cardiology image and information management needs of its two sites. Implementing a cardiology image and information management system is part of a larger initiative by Trillium Health Centre to implement fully electronic health records. In addition, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston, Texas, has selected Heartlab's Encompass Cardiac Network to manage the enterprise-wide cardiology image and information management needs of its eight hospitals. The order marks a continuing trend for multi-hospital independent delivery care networks to purchase enterprise-wide cardiology image and information management systems.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Smith & Nephew introduces innovative lighting system for minimally invasive joint replacement surgery
Full ArticleThe Orthopaedic business of Smith & Nephew has launched a unique and innovative solution for one of the key challenges in minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery. The SOLIS Surgical Illuminator, displayed at the recent annual American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons meeting, is a flexible, disposable fiber optic light that attaches unobtrusively to any retractor and can be inserted directly into the small incision used with Smith & Nephew's minimally invasive instruments.
BeautySurge.com launches on-line cosmetic surgery digital imaging services
Full ArticleOf the 8,7 million plastic surgery procedures performed in 2003, one can only wonder how many of those consumers would have liked to have seen the expected results before their procedure was carried out. Now, BeautySurge.com announces a new on-line service that allows visualization of potential beauty enhancing surgery without actually having to "go under the knife". By combining computer imaging with the skill and artistry of experienced cosmetic surgery specialists, digital imaging can simulate a variety of plastic surgeries including facelifts, breast implants, and liposuction, as well as non-surgical procedures such as Botox, collagen, and chemical peels.
Delft Diagnostic Imaging shows further development of the new ViewPro-X workstation
Full ArticleAfter a successful preview to a group of selected costumers at RSNA, Delft Diagnostic Imaging has shown further development of the Rogan OnLine ViewPro-X workstation at this year's European Congress of Radiology, held in Vienna, Austria, March 5-9.
Israeli breakthrough miniature robotic technology to assist in spine surgery
Full ArticleThe medical device startup company, Mazor Surgical Technologies, which develops a miniature robot designed for spinal procedures, installed its first two systems in the United States and Israel. This system enables the surgeon to increase the level of accuracy during surgery while lowering the level of risk related to such spine surgical procedures.
Saint Francis University's Cermusa and BodyMedia collaborate on telemedicine solution for patients with diabetes and obesity
Full ArticleBodyMedia and Saint Francis University's Center of Excellence for Remote and Medically Under-Served Areas (CERMUSA) have entered into a research arrangement that will extend BodyMedia's wearable body monitoring technologies to patients in remote areas suffering from chronic diabetes and obesity.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Neurosurgical robot may boost brain operations in near future
Full ArticleA prototype surgical robot has the potential to make brain surgery more accurate and precise than ever while re-creating the "sound, sight, and feel" of conventional neurosurgery, according to an article in the March issue of Neurosurgery. In the article, Dr. Deon F. Louw from the University of Calgary and colleagues describe the design and initial "breadboard" testing of the neurosurgical robot, dubbed neuroArm. The neuroArm, the first robot created for the specific purpose of performing micro-neurosurgery, was developed by the Canadian company MD Robotics, on commission from the University of Calgary.
Michigan's Community Health Center installs BrainLab's VectorVision sky for image-guided surgery
Full ArticleThe Community Health Center (CHR) of Branch County, Michigan, is the first hospital in the United States to install VectorVision sky, developed by BrainLAB AG, a worldwide innovator of Image-Guided Surgery (IGS) and stereotactic radiosurgery systems. It is also the first centre in Michigan to offer minimally invasive total knee replacement surgery using this technology. VectorVision sky, the ceiling-mounted version of BrainLAB's flagship image-guided surgery platform, VectorVision, offers maximum flexibility for utilization and positioning while at the same time enabling unrestricted movement of the surgery table for intra-operative imaging.
PAMELA offers possibility of rapid and early warning detection of prostate cancer
Full ArticleWith prostate cancer the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men in many industrialised countries, a new diagnostic instrument offers the possibility of rapid and early warning detection and screening of this major killer. The three-year IST programme-funded PAMELA project aimed to develop a new analytical instrument that allows very fast blood analysis to determine the presence and amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) present, important for the follow-up of prostate cancer.
Eurosca project will map and try to cure patients suffering from spinocerebellar ataxias
Full ArticleThe European Commission is providing 9,45 million euro for a new project aimed at finding a cure for a series of rare, late manifesting neurodegenerative diseases called spinocerebellar ataxias (SCA). The Integrated Project, Eurosca, financed under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), will develop a European network structure leading to the world's largest register of genetically defined patients suffering from SCAs.
Immersion Medical to introduce new endovascular simulation system
Full ArticleImmersion Corporation, a developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, has launched its AccuTouch Endovascular Simulation System. Intended for training percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI), the new system replicates the look and feel of balloon angioplasty and stenting with realistic graphics and tactile feedback action. Doctors can independently practise these sensitive and critical procedures on the simulator to acquire, develop, and maintain proficiency, thereby increasing patient safety and reducing risk and cost.
 

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