The ADA selected United Devices' Grid MP infrastructure as the platform for this on-line tool due to the product's unparalleled scalability, reliability and security features. Grid MP also powers two of the largest public research Grids in existence: Grid.org and IBM's World Community Grid.
"Diabetes PHD is an extremely comprehensive and powerful tool, but that comprehensiveness and power come at the expense of needing a tremendous amount of computing power to run each health profile", stated Frank Hoose, Chief Technology Officer at the ADA. "The only practical way to get that power on a timely basis is through distributed Grid computing. With the United Devices product, we are able to offer this extremely powerful tool to the general public, free of charge, 24/7."
"We have collaborated for years with the ADA to help accelerate diabetes research", stated Jikku Venkat, chief technology officer at United Devices. "We're proud to be a part of this groundbreaking new capability for individuals across the globe to better understand how they can pro-actively manage their own health."
Diabetes PHD is an interactive tool that enables individuals to enter personal health data such as age, sex, height, weight, health history, and medications. In return, they receive a profile that estimates their risk for diabetes and related diseases and provides suggestions on how to reduce these risks by making positive health changes in areas like weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. The tool can be used to help both patients and health professionals make informed choices about how best to reduce a patient's risk for diabetes and its complications. Clinicians can also leverage the tool to better understand which potential treatments offer the most benefit.
The software that underlies the Diabetes PHD interface is called Archimedes, which was developed by Kaiser Permanente with support from a grant to the ADA from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Archimedes is a comprehensive model that simulates the biological processes underlying the development of diabetes. Archimedes takes into account virtually every variable that comes into play in a person's health, from smoking to weight to blood pressure to medications. It also considers the inter-relationship of each of those variables, e.g. losing weight reduces the risk of heart attack directly and also tends to lower blood pressure, which reduces the risk for other health problems such as kidney disease and stroke. No other simulation model is as comprehensive nor has any other model used in medicine been validated as extensively as Archimedes according to the ADA and Kaiser Permanente.
United Devices is specialized in high performance computing (HPC) infrastructure software and services. The company's Grid MP products optimize an organisation's existing HPC resources, including clusters, servers and desktops, to create an enterprise-wide capacity on-demand environment. United Devices also operates the world's largest Grid for grand-scale research that consists of more than three million systems in more than 191 countries and territories.
The Personal Health Decisions tool is available at the ADA Web site. More news about United Devices can be found in the VMw February 2005 article United Devices to build global enterprise Grid infrastructure for Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development.