University of Southern California's Globus MEDICUS is honoured for its ability to share data and images with researchers around the world.

Los Angeles 13 July 2007University of Southern California's (USC) Globus MEDICUS project, which seeks to speed the exchange of important medical information and images worldwide using distributed computing, has received a prestigious Internet2 IDEA Award 2007. The award, which recognizes innovative, advanced network applications that have had the most positive impact within the research and education community, honoured the project's chief collaborators: Stephan Erberich, director of functional imaging and biomedical informatics at USC; Carl Kesselman, director of the centre for Grid technology at USC's Information Sciences Institute (ISI); Ann Chervenak, assistant professor of computer science at the ISI; and Robert Schuler, ISI research scientist.

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Globus MEDICUS - short for "medical imaging and computing for unified information sharing" - promotes non-proprietary methods for medical image processing and medical image and data sharing between health care providers, physicians and researchers in the life sciences.

The project originally was created and funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Children's Oncology Group and the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation out of the need to connect 40 international medical centres in the United States and Canada for multi-centre clinical trials and to link them via the Internet2 network to the Image Data Center at USC.

As a result, these centres can now seamlessly communicate large images quickly and securely over the Internet. Project officials said that Globus MEDICUS technology could help health care providers at various levels - large hospitals, community care centres and private practices - to securely share images.

For example, a small community practice could use the technology to consult with an expert university centre by sharing images to perform teleradiology for remote consultation. A radiologist reading at multiple hospitals could operate from a single point-of-care and stay at the same time connected to colleagues over advanced networks.

"Today we routinely expect information to be available on the Internet, but this is still not the case with medical information", Stephan Erberich stated. "We believe that making it available, in a secure fashion, is crucial. Portable, secure medical information has the potential to deliver better, more informed care at reduced cost. We believe that our Globus MEDICUS project takes important first steps toward this goal."

Led by the research and education community since 1996, Internet2 is the foremost United States' advanced networking consortium, which promotes the development, deployment and use of revolutionary Internet technologies. More news on Globus MEDICUS is available in the VMW December 2006 article Breaking the medical image communication barrier with Grid computing.


Leslie Versweyveld

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