MEDICUS Project wins Internet2 Idea award

Arlington 25 April 2007At its April 24 Spring Member Meeting, Internet2 announced the 2007 winners of its Internet2 Driving Exemplary Applications (IDEA) Awards programme which seeks to recognize leading innovators who have created and deployed advanced network applications that have enabled transformational progress in research, teaching and learning. The 2007 winners are the Globus MEDICUS and UltraLight projects. These projects are being recognized for their potential to significantly increase the impact of next-generation networks around the world.

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Chosen from many distinguished nominations, the winning submissions were judged on the depth of their positive impact on their primary users, their technical merit, and the likelihood they application would be more broadly adopted.

MEDICUS holds the promise of enabling more advanced health care by creating the technological platform for securely exchanging bandwidth-intensive medical resources and images, while UltraLight provides the foundation and services for linking thousands of physicists and scientists around the world who together are investigating the origins of the universe.

"Within the research and education community, there are many outstanding accomplishments. The Internet2 IDEA awards give us an opportunity to recognize those members of our community who have stepped up as leaders in their field and changed the way we work and learn", stated David Lassner, Chair of the Internet2 Applications Strategy Council. "In doing so, these applications and their lead collaborators serve as role models by creating new opportunities through technology that just a few years ago could not have even been imagined."

Collaborators of the Globus MEDICUS project are Stephan Erberich, Director Functional Imaging and Biomedical Informatics, University of Southern California; Carl Kesselman, Director Center for Grid Technology, USC Information Sciences Institute; Ann Chervenak Assistant Professor of Computer Science, USC Information Sciences Institute; and Robert Schuler, Research Scientist, USC Information Sciences Institute.

MEDICUS links facilities to participating in multi-centre clinical trials via the Internet2 network to the Image Data Center at the University of Southern California (USC). The immediate impact of this project is that these centres can now seamlessly communicate images instantly over public networks - Internet or Internet2 - without disrupting the work flow, according to Stephan Erberich.

"In fact the Grid work flow is completely hidden from the participating physicians who seamless procure data and images from both local resources or advanced networks - in essence, MEDICUS has created transparent public network integration", Stephan Erberich stated.

In the mid- to long-term, MEDICUS will enable health care providers at various levels, e.g. large hospitals, community care centres, and private practices see the opportunity to seamless and securely share images and post-processing resources. As people become more and more mobile, so does health care. The developers foresee many use-cases where MEDICUS can enable new practices of medicine. For instance a small community practice can consult with an expert university centre by sharing images to perform teleradiology for remote consultation, utilizing the Grid over advanced networks.

A radiologist reading at multiple hospitals can operate from a single point-of-care and stays at the same time connected to colleagues over advanced networks. Using MEDICUS Grid technology enables new unprecedented opportunities to utilize these high bandwidth networks for the health care enterprise.

"Today we routinely expect information to be available on the Internet, but this is still not the case with medical information. We believe that making it available, in a secure fashion, is crucial: it has the potential to deliver better, more informed care at reduced cost", stated Stephan Erberich. "We believe that our Globus MEDICUS project takes important first steps toward this goal. Our system lets doctors and patients utilize the power of high-speed Internet to easily and securely share information. Much remains to be done, but we are gratified by the benefits that are already apparent."

The Globus MEDICUS project was originally created and funded by the National Institute of Health (award UO1-BA97452) and the Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation (CNCF). More information can be found in the VMW December 2006 article Breaking the medical image communication barrier with Grid computing.


Leslie Versweyveld

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