VMW Monthly - March 2008 - ISSN 1388-722X



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RFID and Emerging Technologies Market Guide to Healthcare

Bradley Sokol - Fast Track Technologies Ltd.

A newly issued comprehensive study and analytical business tool describing and analyzing the impact that emerging technologies including RFID, wireless and connectivity will have on the healthcare hospital market.

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This must-have manual can be purchased at the Fast Track Technologies 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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Contents March 2008 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
It's all about geometry: protein contact surfaces hold key to cures
Evolutionary history of SARS supports bats as virus source
Tennessee eHealth Network to enable improved health care access and collaboration
Mathematical modelling offers new approaches to fight dual-resistant hospital infections
Princeton researchers peek into deepest recesses of human brain
 
Grid for Health
 
The Hormel Institute buys IBM supercomputer as it expands role and scope of research
Missing link: software connects researchers across networks
Malaysia Genome Institute advances bioinformatics research using SGI technology
Regional health care provider standardizes on Bycast storage software as part of IBM's Grid Medical Archive Solution
SGI to integrate eXludus software into cluster offering
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Handheld computers prod older adults to exercise more, Stanford study shows
Fujitsu PalmSecure PC Log-In Kit provides secure and efficient authentication for health care organisations
Verizon teams with Medical College of Georgia to test wireless cutting-edge technology
CapMed introduces icePHR Mobile, allowing consumers to access Personal Health Records (PHRs) from cell phones
Aerotel and Mobile Tornado unveil innovative personal wireless safety service at Mobile World 2008
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
B-Line Medical and Immersion Medical announce simulation technology partnership
AnatomyLab Software uses Internet as multilingual Knowledge Base
Third Brigade selected by Concordant to raise bar of secure patient care
Availity engages Prematics to deploy electronic prescribing
ATS Medical announces initial clinical results of stand-alone atrial fibrillation procedures using ATS CryoMaze product line
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Scientists explore consciousness
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute scientists develop novel method to reveal drug targets
Philips led HeartCycle project targets improvement of disease management and quality of life for heart patients
Youngest patient worldwide to have auditory implant in the brain stem
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich takes targeted pain therapy a step forward
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Henry Ford Hospital expands research on gene and radiation therapy for prostate cancer
CMH Regional Health System reduces costs and improves physician satisfaction with Optio Healthcare solutions
Cisco helps Palomar Pomerado Health open 'Hospital of the Future' three years ahead of schedule in 'Second Life'
Swedish Medical implements Oracle Enterprise Content Management Software to support new Electronic Medical Record system
Oracle helps Mayo Clinic improve information management
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Medisoft Telemedicine adopts Software as a Service delivery model
Viable enhances VCO experience for ViableVRS callers
Unilever extends collaboration with Transinsight in the field of semantic searching
Doctors will soon be able to feel organs via a display screen
Tangent to exhibit new medical-grade PC line-up at HIMSS to help health care go digital
 
VMWC news bites
 
Scientists from Europe, Israel and the United States develop robotic rats to aid in rescue missions
SensAble Technologies eases the transition to digital dentistry with introduction of SensAble Dental Lab System
Surgery gives patients something to smile about
Children with autism may learn from virtual peers
Imperial research shows how medical robot could help end painful repeat hip operations for British patients
 

Leads March 2008 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
It's all about geometry: protein contact surfaces hold key to cures
Full ArticleYour mother always told you to do your geometry homework, and for scientists seeking new treatments for diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, this advice turns out to be right on the mark. In the atomic-level landscape of proteins, shape determines the all-important function of these molecules of life. For example, when a protein molecule responsible for Parkinson's binds with the cell membrane, will a new drug candidate interrupt this interaction - preventing disease progression and protecting the patient? It all depends on the precise geometry and energy of the protein structures.
Evolutionary history of SARS supports bats as virus source
Full ArticleScientists who have studied the genome of the virus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) say their comparisons to related viruses offer new evidence that the virus infecting humans originated in bats. The analysis tracing the viruses' paths through human and animal hosts counters assertions that SARS was eradicated in 2004 when thousands of palm civet cats in China were identified as the original source and killed in an effort to eliminate the risk of new outbreaks. According to this new analysis, humans actually appear to be the source of the virus found in those civets, a wild game animal considered a delicacy in southern China. SARS infected more than 8000 and killed more than 900 people worldwide during a nine-month outbreak that ended in the summer of 2003, according to the World Health Organization. No human infections have been reported since early 2004.
Tennessee eHealth Network to enable improved health care access and collaboration
Full ArticleLeveraging technology to enhance the health care experience for patients and practitioners alike, AT&T has launched a major initiative with the State of Tennessee to deliver the country's first statewide health information exchange. The Tennessee Information Infrastructure eHealth Exchange Zone is being developed to transform how health information is accessed and delivered by the Tennessee care-giving community and, ultimately, to enable increased patient safety, reduced spending and improved quality of care for the state's 6 million residents.
Mathematical modelling offers new approaches to fight dual-resistant hospital infections
Full ArticleWhen you check into a hospital, the odds are one in ten that you will become infected with a strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria as a result of your stay. That is because the problem of drug-resistance has become endemic in today's hospitals despite the best efforts of the medical profession. In the United States alone this currently causes about 100.000 deaths per year. Now, a sophisticated new mathematical model has identified what may be the key to getting this growing health problem under control: changing the way that antibiotics are prescribed and administered.
Princeton researchers peek into deepest recesses of human brain
Full ArticleA team of scientists from Princeton University has devised a new experimental technique that produces some of the best functional images ever taken of the human brain stem, the most primitive area of the brain. The scientists believe they may be opening the door to inquiries into a region that acts as the staging area for the brain chemicals whose overabundance or absence in other parts of the brain are at the root of many neuropsychiatric disorders, like addiction, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. Reporting in the February 28 edition of Science, the scientists describe using functional magnetic resonance imaging to study brain stem activity in dehydrated humans. The scanning technique allows researchers to watch the brain in action.
 
Grid for Health
 
The Hormel Institute buys IBM supercomputer as it expands role and scope of research
Full ArticleThe Hormel Institute, a medical research unit of the University of Minnesota, will become the first research laboratory in the state to employ the world's most powerful supercomputer design, the IBM Blue Gene. The Institute's acquisition of a Blue Gene supercomputer is part of a multi-year expansion for the facility. The expansion and the new computer will allow the Institute - recognized worldwide for its leading-edge cancer research - to triple the amount of projects it undertakes.
Missing link: software connects researchers across networks
Full ArticleResearchers from Europe, America and China are creating software to better link research networks, paving the way for future scientific breakthroughs. Major research network Grids across the European Union are often developed independently from each other, using different types of software and hardware, making it difficult for scientists working on a particular project to use resources outside their own. The Open Middleware Infrastructure Institute for Europe (OMII-Europe) project is designed to break down such barriers by adopting common standards for Grid middleware.
Malaysia Genome Institute advances bioinformatics research using SGI technology
Full ArticleTo create an optimal work flow that encompasses the diverse computing requirements of bioinformatics research, the Malaysia Genomics Institute (MGI) selected SGI to design a unique SGI hybrid computing solution. Because bioinformatics research uses a variety of software at various stages in the work flow, the combined use of shared-memory systems and clusters can provide an optimal environment for the efficient use of each application. MGI looked to SGI to design a seamless, cohesive work flow for the entire process that would integrate into the existing infrastructure. SGI delivered a hybrid computing solution that consists of the new SGI BioCluster as well as an SGI Altix shared memory server and an SGI InfiniteStorage CXFS SAN shared file system, which makes the entire work flow transparent to the user regardless of software employed or stage of the process at which scientists are performing.
Regional health care provider standardizes on Bycast storage software as part of IBM's Grid Medical Archive Solution
Full ArticleRichardson Regional Medical Center has standardized on Bycast StorageGRID storage management software to store and protect Richardson Regional's mission critical reference data within its enterprise archive. IBM's Storage business delivers the Bycast software to market as part of its Grid Medical Archive Solution (GMAS).
SGI to integrate eXludus software into cluster offering
Full ArticleeXludus Technologies, a developer of multi-core system capacity management, virtualization and provisioning solutions, has signed a reseller relationship with SGI, an expert in high-performance computing. SGI will embed eXludus Grid Optimizer software in its new BioCluster solution, developed specifically for the life sciences market.
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Handheld computers prod older adults to exercise more, Stanford study shows
Full ArticleToday's younger generation may reckon that "ne'er the twain shall meet" where technology and their elders are concerned. However, ongoing research by Abby King, PhD, professor of health research and policy and of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, appears to be gradually dispelling that notion. In a study that appears in the February issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Abby King showed that specially programmed PDAs, or personal digital assistants, can prod middle-aged and older Americans - the most sedentary segment of the United States population - into increasing their physical activity levels. This first-generation study follows on the heels of Abby King's research report in the December issue of Health Psychology, in which she showed that automated computer calls were almost as effective as live health educators in coaxing people previously less active to get more of a spring in their step.
Fujitsu PalmSecure PC Log-In Kit provides secure and efficient authentication for health care organisations
Full ArticleWith the passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), hospitals and other medical organisations are required to use two or more forms of authentication in order to access electronic medical records of patients. Fujitsu Computer Products of America Inc., a supplier of innovative biometric security solutions, has demonstrated the new PalmSecure PC Log-In Kit at the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference, February 24-28, 2008 in Orlando, Florida. The PalmSecure PC Log-In Kit provides a fast and secure way to access highly sensitive patient information for health care professionals.
Verizon teams with Medical College of Georgia to test wireless cutting-edge technology
Full ArticleA handheld device that could mean the difference between life and death for some heart attack victims is under development with input from doctors at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG). With a $50.000 grant from the Verizon Foundation, the MCG Center for Telehealth is working to determine if a wireless device, similar to a smart phone, can be used by cardiologists in rural areas to read electrocardiograms transmitted by first responders.
CapMed introduces icePHR Mobile, allowing consumers to access Personal Health Records (PHRs) from cell phones
Full ArticleCapMed, a division of Bio-Imaging Technologies Inc. and provider of interactive personal health management solutions, has launched icePHR Mobile, an in-case-of-emergency personal health record (PHR) technology that gives consumers access to important medical information through their mobile phones. CapMed has showcased icePHR Mobile and its new onlinePHR at the recent HIMSS 2008 in Orlando, Florida.
Aerotel and Mobile Tornado unveil innovative personal wireless safety service at Mobile World 2008
Full ArticleMobile Tornado, a provider of universal mobile applications such as Push to Talk and Push to Video and Aerotel Medical Systems, a manufacturer of advanced telemedicine and telecare solutions are jointly presenting SKeeper - a compact wearable mobile communication and safety device designed by Aerotel and integrated with Mobile Tornado's services platform. The new device promises to make life safer and easier for elderly people, chronically ill patients, children and lone workers. SKeeper is demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona by Mobile Tornado and Aerotel.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
B-Line Medical and Immersion Medical announce simulation technology partnership
Full ArticleB-Line Medical LLC and Immersion Medical, a subsidiary of Immersion Corporation, have signed a strategic partnership enabling Immersion Medical to distribute an enhanced version of B-Line Medical's SimCapture product. SimCapture is an all-in-one solution for capturing, debriefing, assessing and centralizing multiple types of simulation encounters. Immersion, a manufacturer of virtual reality (VR) simulation devices, will be the first licensed third-party distributor of SimCapture, and will be actively pursuing domestic, international, and government sales opportunities.
AnatomyLab Software uses Internet as multilingual Knowledge Base
Full ArticleNext Dimension Imaging, a private, independent software company located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, known for its long experience in medical 3D imaging technology has published its new medical product, AnatomyLab II. It is a platform for teaching, learning and presenting human anatomical content. Predecessor product AnatomyLab 1 was released two years ago and has pioneered new interaction and navigation techniques. In order to manage and navigate large scale anatomical models, the system was further improved and refined. While for AnatomyLab 1, users have to acquire 3D-models separately and load it externally, AnatomyLab II has a full body model integrated, comprising several thousand parts of bones, muscles and ligaments.
Third Brigade selected by Concordant to raise bar of secure patient care
Full ArticleThe host intrusion defense system, developed by Third Brigade, a security software company specializing in host intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS), has been selected by Concordant Inc., a provider of health care IT services, to help raise the bar for secure patient care and efficient physician services. The two companies have joined forces to build and manage secure, robust, and cost-effective Electronic Health Records (EHR) infrastructures for physician organisations and ambulatory practices.
Availity engages Prematics to deploy electronic prescribing
Full ArticleAvaility L.L.C. and Prematics have signed an agreement to equip physician practices with a distinctive electronic prescribing service under Availity's private label, CarePrescribe. Prematics will deploy its technology and provide ongoing physician support on behalf of Availity and its joint ownership group, consisting of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Humana, and Health Care Service Corporation, which operates the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Initial deployment will include markets in Florida and Texas.
ATS Medical announces initial clinical results of stand-alone atrial fibrillation procedures using ATS CryoMaze product line
Full ArticleATS Medical Inc., manufacturer and marketer of state-of-the-art cardiac surgery products, has issued initial clinical results of stand-alone ablation procedures and an overall expansion into the stand-alone market, using the ATS CryoMaze product line. This line of surgical products, indicated for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, is designed to replicate the original cut-and-sew Maze procedure - also known as Cox-Maze-III - by freezing lines in the heart to re-direct electrical impulses. The Maze procedure is a widely known surgical technique developed by Dr. James L. Cox in the 1980s to treat atrial fibrillation (AF) with a high rate of long-term success.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Scientists explore consciousness
Full ArticleAn international team of scientists led by a University of Leicester researcher has carried out a scientific study into the realm of consciousness. The scientists have made a significant step into the understanding of conscious perception, by showing how single neurons in the human brain reacted to perceived and non-perceived images. University of Leicester bio-engineer Dr. Rodrigo Quian Quiroga is spearheading this study which is opening new possibilities of exploring a hitherto relatively unchartered scientific area. The team have published a paper in an international journal, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) revealing new discoveries in the field of consciousness studies.
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute scientists develop novel method to reveal drug targets
Full ArticleWellcome Trust Sanger Institute scientists have developed a new large-scale method to identify the interactions between proteins that are a major target for therapeutic intervention. The novel method can identify the weak, short-lived interactions that are characteristic of cell responses to cues from the environment or from within the body. Cell surface proteins are targets for many drugs and are central to many processes of cell regulation, such as some cancer therapeutics, diabetes, and growth. The team hopes the method will uncover many important interactions that are invisible to current detection methods.
Philips led HeartCycle project targets improvement of disease management and quality of life for heart patients
Full ArticleRoyal Philips Electronics will lead a new European Union (EU) funded research project aimed at improving care of heart patients through the development of innovative telemonitoring solutions. Following the highly successful MyHeart project, the HeartCycle project will start on March 1, 2008, and will be one of the largest biomedical and health care research projects within the European Union.
Youngest patient worldwide to have auditory implant in the brain stem
Full ArticleA team of ear, nose and throat specialists and neurosurgeons at the University Hospital of Navarra, led by doctors Manuel Manrique Rodríguez, specialist in ear, nose and throat surgery and Bartolomé Bejarano Herruzo, specialist in paediatric neurosurgery, have successfully operated on a 13 month-old girl from Murcia, who had been born deaf due to the lack of auditory nerves. She is the youngest patient in the world who has received an auditory implant in the brain stem. As a result of the operation, the child has begun to hear and started language development.
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich takes targeted pain therapy a step forward
Full ArticleFor people suffering from chronic pain, the spinal cord, which acts as a kind of filter for pain signals, is impaired. Led by Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich Professor Hanns Ulrich Zeilhofer, researchers have now found a way to restore it. Their results have been published in Nature.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Henry Ford Hospital expands research on gene and radiation therapy for prostate cancer
Full ArticleHenry Ford Hospital is embarking on an expanded major clinical trial involving the use of gene therapy in combination with radiation therapy, to determine if the combined treatment is more effective than radiation therapy alone for patients with intermediate risk prostate cancer. The clinical trial is part of a $9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded to Henry Ford to study the effectiveness of gene therapy to treat prostate cancer.
CMH Regional Health System reduces costs and improves physician satisfaction with Optio Healthcare solutions
Full ArticleCMH Regional Health System has reduced manual scanning of patient documentation by 80 percent and reduced costs annually by $5000 to $25.000 per ancillary system with Optio's Imaging Integration solution. In October 2006, CMH Regional Health System (CMH), a 95-bed hospital in Wilmington, Ohio, kicked off phase one of a three-year, $18 million patient-safety initiative that included a transformation to an electronic health record (EHR) system.
Cisco helps Palomar Pomerado Health open 'Hospital of the Future' three years ahead of schedule in 'Second Life'
Full ArticleCisco and Palomar Pomerado Health (PPH) have cut the ribbon on a new hospital in the on-line virtual world "Second Life". The virtual hospital, a simulation of a real-world hospital campus due to open in 2011, gives visitors the opportunity to tour the hospital years before its doors actually open.
Swedish Medical implements Oracle Enterprise Content Management Software to support new Electronic Medical Record system
Full ArticleSwedish Medical Center, the largest non-profit health care provider in the Greater Seattle area, deployed components of the Oracle Enterprise Content Management Suite - Oracle Universal Content Management and Oracle Imaging and Process Management - to deliver a content-enabled electronic medical record (EMR) system that helps ensure patient information is available when and where a provider needs it. Oracle enterprise content management software also facilitated Swedish Medical Center's EMR training initiative, helping the organisation ensure an on-time roll-out. Oracle Enterprise Content Management Suite is a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware.
Oracle helps Mayo Clinic improve information management
Full ArticleThe Mayo Clinic, the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit medical group practice in the world, is using Oracle content management products, components of Oracle Fusion Middleware, to efficiently manage more than 100 million documents and images.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Medisoft Telemedicine adopts Software as a Service delivery model
Full ArticleMedisoft Telemedicine Pvt. Ltd. has adopted Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery model for its innovative web-based telemedicine product. SaaS is a software application delivery model where a software vendor develops a web-native software application and hosts and operates - either independently or through a third-party - the application for use by its customers over the Internet, according to the definition by Wikipedia. Customers do not pay for owning the software itself but rather for using it.
Viable enhances VCO experience for ViableVRS callers
Full ArticleViable Inc., a provider of video relay services (VRS) and technologies for deaf and hard of hearing, has enhanced its provision of the Voice Carryover (VCO) feature for its ViableVRS offering. With VCO, ViableVRS callers can choose to use their voice when speaking to the person they are calling and limit the participation of the Video Interpreter (VI) to signing what the other person says.
Unilever extends collaboration with Transinsight in the field of semantic searching
Full ArticleUnilever, one of the world's largest consumer products companies, will continue working with Transinsight towards a tailored solution from GoPubMed that meets Unilever Research's diverse scientific data mining requirements.
Doctors will soon be able to feel organs via a display screen
Full ArticleWith the aid of computerized image analysis, it may be possible in the future for radiologists to feel images with the help of a three-dimensional mouse. Erik Vidholm at Uppsala University has been involved in developing the new technology, which makes it easier to diagnose and plan the treatment of cancer, for instance.
Tangent to exhibit new medical-grade PC line-up at HIMSS to help health care go digital
Full ArticleTangent Inc., a provider of technology solutions, is exhibiting a full line of medical-grade PC's at HIMSS, including all-in-one, point-of-care PCs, a fanless and cart-ready, energy efficient PC, a rugged mini PC, wash-down ready workstations, monitors, keyboards and an e-mail archival appliance.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Scientists from Europe, Israel and the United States develop robotic rats to aid in rescue missions
Full ArticleA new initiative, bringing together nine research groups from seven countries, including teams of robotics and brain researchers from Europe, the USA and Israel, has recently been set up with the aim of imitating nature. Based on principles of active sensing adopted widely in the animal kingdom, the multinational team is developing innovative touch technologies, including a "whiskered" robotic rat. The whiskered robot will be able to quickly locate, identify and capture moving objects. The use of touch in the design of artificial intelligence systems has been largely overlooked, until now, according to Professor Ehud Ahissar of the Weizmann Institute of Science's Neurobiology Department, whose research team is one of the groups participating in the multinational project.
SensAble Technologies eases the transition to digital dentistry with introduction of SensAble Dental Lab System
Full ArticleAt the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Show, SensAble Technologies Inc., a provider of 3D touch-enabled modelling solutions, has launched the SensAble Dental Lab System, an integrated solution to scan, design and fabricate common dental restorations. It is the first integrated digital solution to support the production process for partial frameworks, as well as crown and bridge substructures. The solution uniquely incorporates "3D virtual touch" technology so that lab technicians can "feel" the on-screen image - and work as naturally and directly with a computer-based system as they do when using traditional hand-waxing techniques.
Surgery gives patients something to smile about
Full ArticleFor 10 years, Thelma Clark has lived without teeth. Diagnosed with osteoporosis at 50, her teeth broke off one by one. She's gone through four sets of dentures and bulk quantities of denture adhesive. Thanks to a revolutionary procedure available at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) School of Dentistry, she no longer hides her smile. Surgeons and prosthodontists used Nobel Biocare's Teeth in an Hour technology to give Ms. Clark new pearly whites.
Children with autism may learn from virtual peers
Full ArticleUsing "virtual peers" - animated life-sized children that simulate the behaviours and conversation of typically developing children - Northwestern University researchers are developing interventions designed to prepare children with autism for interactions with real-life children. Justine Cassell, professor of communication studies and electrical engineering and computer science, recently presented a preliminary study on the work at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Imperial research shows how medical robot could help end painful repeat hip operations for British patients
Full ArticleDelegates at the recent British Society for Computer Aided Orthopaedic Surgery Conference heard that results from a pilot study saw graduates 95 percent more confident using a new robotic technique than when using conventional surgical methods in training. Professor Justin Cobb, Head of the Biosurgery and Surgical Technology Group at Imperial College London, conducted the trial on 32 undergraduate medical students at Imperial College London from December 2006 to December 2007. The pilot study tested whether planning before an operation, combined with the latest robotic navigation equipment could increase the success rates of students practising hip resurfacing arthroplasty procedures - a method for correcting painful hip bone deformities by coating the femoral head with a cast of chrome alloy.
 

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