VMW Monthly - April 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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*** Highlights from the International Supercomputing Conference 2007 in Dresden ***

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Contents April 2008 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
New technique takes a big step in examination of small structures
Biosensing nanodevice to revolutionize health screenings
Automated 3D breast ultrasound machine in operation at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Loyola uses virtual-reality video game to help burn patients play their way to pain relief
Cancer detected earlier and faster with new medical imaging, Stanford study finds
 
Grid for Health
 
At Technische Universität Dresden, SGI Altix accelerates three months of research into a single day
Acceleware enters the imaging market with the launch of the AxRecon image reconstruction solution
Mobile Grids nurture virtual organisations
VMware Desktop Virtualization helps health care providers improve patient care
University of Iowa engineer receives $473.636 NIH grant to support cardiopulmonary research
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Broomwell's cardiac telemedicine service proven to prevent hospital admissions in year-long study
Implantable medical devices may expose patients to security and privacy risks; solutions suggested
We Care Health Services partners with IgeaCare Systems to deliver Healthanywhere for chronic disease management in Canada
WakeMed Cary Hospital and RadarFind partner to advance asset and patient tracking technology
Sensor necklace aims to increase elderly and clinical trial participant drug compliance
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
InterComponentWare looks to integrate PHRs with iPhone and establishes Global Standards Office
GE Healthcare launches diagnostic advancements on premier women's health ultrasound system
Virtual Heroes helps Duke University create interactive health care training programme
Aetna and Healthline Networks announce first ever personalized health and health benefits search engine: Aetna SmartSource
Siemens introduces new dual energy applications to SOMATOM Definition
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Technology improves odds for critically ill
Design of a new system that improves hearing in patients who carry a cochlear implant
Centre for Robotic Surgery created at Imperial College London
Smart clothes: textiles that track your health
Mind over body: new hope for quadriplegics
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Researchers make case for standardized analysis of cardiac imaging
University of California San Diego Medical Center reports United States' first oral appendix removal
Asia's first Pharmacy Robot to be installed at Bumrungrad International
Agfa HealthCare to connect Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust hospitals using IMPAX Data Centre
Largest medical centre in Puerto Rico deploys Force10 Networks in campuswide upgrade to integrate systems and patient records
 
Virtual snap shots
 
University of Virginia researcher's SpermCheck home test receives FDA OK
Robosoft shows a new use-case of its robuBOX
Virtual reality and computer technology improve stroke rehabilitation
SUNY researcher issued patent for virtual telemicroscope and actor-robots 'staff' part of new simulation training centre at Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center
Sprint's hard-of-hearing customers benefit from new and free web-based solution
 
VMWC news bites
 
MMVR 16 proceedings highlight collaboratoral and synergetic aspects of medical virtual reality technologies
Ultra-fast, ultra-intense laser has clean-cut advantage
New robotic imaging technology holds promise of improved cancer care
Touch of Life Technologies and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons develop arthroscopic training system
ARTIS: a step towards an end-to-end robotic tele-echography service
 

Leads April 2008 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
New technique takes a big step in examination of small structures
Full ArticleA team led by a Purdue University researcher has achieved images of a virus in detail two times greater than had previously been achieved. Wen Jiang, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Purdue, led a research team that used the emerging technique of single-particle electron cryomicroscopy to capture a three-dimensional image of a virus at a resolution of 4,5 angstroms. Approximately 1 million angstroms would equal the diameter of a human hair.
Biosensing nanodevice to revolutionize health screenings
Full ArticleOne day soon a biosensing nanodevice developed by Arizona State University researcher Wayne Frasch may eliminate long lines at airport security checkpoints and revolutionize health screenings for diseases like anthrax, cancer and antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Even more incredible than the device itself, is that it is based on the world's tiniest rotary motor: a biological engine measured on the order of molecules.
Automated 3D breast ultrasound machine in operation at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Full ArticleThe newest technology in breast imaging - a fully automated 3D breast ultrasound machine - is now in use at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center's Southwestern Center for Breast Care, the first site in Dallas and Fort Worth to obtain the equipment.
Loyola uses virtual-reality video game to help burn patients play their way to pain relief
Full ArticleTo a patient recovering from severe burns, no place would be more soothing than a polar landscape of gently falling snowflakes, snowmen, penguins, igloos and icy rivers. That's the thinking behind SnowWorld, an interactive, virtual-reality video game being used at Loyola University Hospital in Maywood, Illinois, to manage pain felt by burn patients during wound care and physical therapy. Loyola is the first hospital in Illinois and only one of a handful across the United States that is employing this 21st century technology to help burn patients recover from their injuries.
Cancer detected earlier and faster with new medical imaging, Stanford study finds
Full ArticleDoctors may one day be able to detect early stages of colon cancer without a biopsy, using a new technique developed by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. This imaging technology is one of many new ways of detecting cancers in the body in real time, according to Christopher Contag, PhD, associate professor of paediatrics and of microbiology and of immunology, who led the study. Dr. Contag said he hoped it might be one of the first to be used routinely for early detection of cancer.
 
Grid for Health
 
At Technische Universität Dresden, SGI Altix accelerates three months of research into a single day
Full ArticleAt Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden), a massive deployment of compute and data management solutions from SGI is enabling researchers throughout Germany to break through information processing barriers in a broad range of disciplines, including physics, chemistry, engineering, bioinformatics and nanotechnology. A team of German researchers is running complex simulations to determine how medical device makers might fuse biological materials with plastics or ceramics to create the ideal hip replacement. Another group is semantically analysing 16 million scientific articles to efficiently grasp the world's combined understanding of gene expression and protein structures.
Acceleware enters the imaging market with the launch of the AxRecon image reconstruction solution
Full ArticleAcceleware Corporation, a developer of acceleration solutions for high-performance computing, has launched its AxRecon image reconstruction solution for the medical imaging, security, and non-destructive testing markets. Image reconstruction for Computed Tomography (CT) scanners often takes hours of processing time and represents a major barrier to efficiency for many organisations. Acceleware's solution reduces the time required to complete this work from hours to minutes to speed up the imaging work flow. AxRecon has been demonstrated at the recent European Congress of Radiology (ECR) in Vienna, Austria.
Mobile Grids nurture virtual organisations
Full ArticleOrganisations co-operating on a task often have difficulties exchanging information and sharing resources. European researchers demonstrate how Grid technology could let diverse players, both fixed and mobile, share a common information space both in emergencies and for routine business needs.
VMware Desktop Virtualization helps health care providers improve patient care
Full ArticleUnited States health care providers of all sizes are turning to VMware virtual desktop solutions to relieve many of the "pain points" of desktop computing, including high management costs and low data security. National providers such as Kindred Healthcare and major regional providers including Huntsville Hospital and Metropolitan Health are now using VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to give care providers the mobility and reliability they need to access patient information at the point of care, and at the same time, enable data centre staff to manage IT more efficiently with the strict security controls required by government regulations and patient privacy needs.
University of Iowa engineer receives $473.636 NIH grant to support cardiopulmonary research
Full ArticleChing-Long Lin, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering in the University of Iowa College of Engineering and research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, has received a $473.636 Shared Instrumentation Grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to purchase a supercomputer - one of the most powerful on the University of Iowa (UI) campus - that will aid more than a half dozen existing UI projects involving cardiopulmonary computing and imaging.
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Broomwell's cardiac telemedicine service proven to prevent hospital admissions in year-long study
Full ArticleThe results of a 12-month trial of a cardiac telemedicine service supervised by the Greater Manchester and Cheshire (GMC) Cardiac Network, has proven that the service avoids the need for immediate referral of patients with non-acute chest-pain symptoms to hospital care in the majority of cases.
Implantable medical devices may expose patients to security and privacy risks; solutions suggested
Full ArticleSome medical devices such as implantable cardiac defibrillators and pacemakers are now equipped with wireless technology, allowing for remote device checks and freeing patients from repeated doctor visits. But this convenience may come with unanticipated risks. A team of researchers from three leading universities has demonstrated that patients' private medical information could be extracted and their devices reprogrammed without the patients' authorization or knowledge.
We Care Health Services partners with IgeaCare Systems to deliver Healthanywhere for chronic disease management in Canada
Full ArticleHealthanywhere, a division of IgeaCare Systems Inc., has partnered with We Care Health Services Inc. to deliver a telehealth system that provides a comprehensive menu of services for those with chronic diseases and their caregivers. We Care will employ a combination of easy-to-use technology and traditional home care to monitor health and promote independence in one's home. The company integrates health promotion, symptom management and disease prevention to help clients stay on the targets set with their doctors. Patients with chronic diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Coronary Artery Disease, post-coronary/stroke, arthritis, cancer, mental health/behaviour disorders, diabetes and kidney or liver disorders will benefit from this programme.
WakeMed Cary Hospital and RadarFind partner to advance asset and patient tracking technology
Full ArticleWakeMed Health & Hospitals, a health care system in North Carolina's Triangle region, has signed a partnership with RadarFind, a health care technology company offering a unique, patented Real Time Location System (RTLS) that uses a platform technology for tracking medical equipment and patients. WakeMed Cary Hospital will be implementing the RadarFind system while also serving as a development partner and research facility for RadarFind engineers to further advance the company's industry-leading technology platform. The partnership is in keeping with WakeMed Health & Hospital's vision of providing both high quality patient care and health care technological leadership.
Sensor necklace aims to increase elderly and clinical trial participant drug compliance
Full ArticleResearchers now have a possible solution for the one in three adults who fail to take their medicines as prescribed by their doctors, as well as for everyone else who occasionally forgets: a sensor necklace that records the exact time and date when specially-designed pills are swallowed, and reminds the user if any doses are being missed.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
InterComponentWare looks to integrate PHRs with iPhone and establishes Global Standards Office
Full ArticleInterComponentWare (ICW) plans to integrate the Apple iPhone and other smartphones with the Life Sensor personal health record to transmit vital emergency medical information to hospital staff. Patients who have access to ICW's web-based LifeSensor system can print out a personal emergency card with a one-time use personal identification number to carry in a wallet or purse. ICW is now in discussions to make the information available from the website - www.sos-lifesensor.com - in a format readable by smartphones.
GE Healthcare launches diagnostic advancements on premier women's health ultrasound system
Full ArticleGE Healthcare has launched enhancements to its premier ultrasound system for obstetrics and gynaecology, the Voluson E8 Breakthrough 2008, at the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) Annual Meeting in San Diego. GE's new proprietary software programme, Sonography-based Automated Volume Count (SonoAVC), delivers an efficient method of calculating the number and volume of ovarian follicles. This is an initial step in assisted reproductive medicine. The Voluson E8 Breakthrough 2008 also features improved probe imaging capabilities, which enable clinicians to see more anatomical detail. GE, a global expert in ultrasound, also showcased its console and compact LOGIQ systems to improve patient care in radiology and emergency medicine.
Virtual Heroes helps Duke University create interactive health care training programme
Full ArticleVirtual Heroes Inc. (VHI), an expert in advanced learning technologies, has created 3DiTeams, an interactive health care team trainer designed to maximize team synchronization and skills proficiency to help reduce medical errors. The programme, designed in collaboration with faculty from Duke University Medical Center, was developed with funding from the United States Army's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, and is based on a health care team co-ordination curriculum called TeamSTEPPS, developed by the United States Department of Defense and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Aetna and Healthline Networks announce first ever personalized health and health benefits search engine: Aetna SmartSource
Full ArticleAetna and Healthline Networks, a provider of intelligent health information, have introduced Aetna SmartSource, the first ever personalized search engine that mines information from Aetna's vast data resources to deliver meaningful, personalized health and health benefits information to Aetna members. Powered by Healthline Networks' Medically Guided Search technology, Aetna SmartSource is an intelligent on-line search tool that connects members to health information and Aetna programmes and resources specific to their needs.
Siemens introduces new dual energy applications to SOMATOM Definition
Full ArticleEncouraged by the outstanding marketing success of the worldwide first Dual-Source computed tomography (CT) system, the SOMATOM Definition, Siemens Healthcare has acquired the 510(k) market clearance of four new applications aimed at simplifying the diagnosis of diseases of the heart, brain, lungs, and extremity joints. With a dual X-ray tube and dual-detector design, the SOMATOM Definition routinely provides images at twice the temporal resolution, twice the speed, and twice the power of single-source systems. Siemens announced the new applications at ECR 2008, recently held in Vienna.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Technology improves odds for critically ill
Full ArticleLarge numbers of unnecessary deaths and avoidable medical complications in intensive care units (ICU) are attributable to the difficulties of treating high glucose levels in critically ill patients' blood. That is about to change for the better thanks to a new automated insulin delivery system developed by European researchers.
Design of a new system that improves hearing in patients who carry a cochlear implant
Full ArticleThe doctoral thesis of Isaac Manuel Álvarez Ruiz has been developed in the Departments of Signal Theory, Telematics, and Communication, and Surgery and its Specialities of the University of Granada, and directed by Professors Ángel de la Torre Vega and Manuel Sainz Quevedo. The main aim of this work includes improving the acquisition of Compound Action Potential records, carrying out an application analysis in the cochlear implant programming and studying the distribution of refractory periods for the neuronal population that takes part in the generation of potentials. This doctoral thesis, carried out with the support of the Austrian company Med-El, is very useful for the manufacturers of cochlear implants as the results are a source of information for their present research lines.
Centre for Robotic Surgery created at Imperial College London
Full ArticleThe recent impact of medical robotics in health care delivery has been substantial. Clinicians and scientists at Imperial College London have led these developments from their inception and will have the opportunity to further research and innovate in this area, thanks to a new research centre. The Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery - supported by the Helen Hamlyn Trust - established at Imperial College London, will push forward the integration of robotics into medicine and patient care, with the aim of developing advanced robotic technologies that will transform conventional key-hole surgery, develop new ways of empowering robots with human intelligence, and create revolutionary miniature "microbots" that have integrated sensing and imaging for cancer surgery and treatment.
Smart clothes: textiles that track your health
Full ArticleGarments that can measure a wearer's body temperature or trace their heart activity are just entering the market, but the European project BIOTEX weaves new functions into smart textiles. Miniaturised biosensors in a textile patch can now analyse body fluids, even a tiny drop of sweat, and provide a much better assessment of someone's health.
Mind over body: new hope for quadriplegics
Full ArticleAround 2,5 million people worldwide are wheelchair bound because of spinal injuries. Half of them are quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down. European researchers are now offering them new hope thanks to groundbreaking technology that uses brain signals alone to control computers, artificial limbs and even wheelchairs. People left paralysed by spinal injuries or suffering from neurodegenerative diseases could regain a degree of independence thanks to a new type of non-intrusive brain-computer interface, or BCI, developed by the MAIA project.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Researchers make case for standardized analysis of cardiac imaging
Full ArticleFor accuracy's sake, medical professionals should use the same software for comparing and analysing diagnostic heart images taken from different time periods and laboratories, a team of researchers has concluded. The collaborative study, published in the January-February issue of the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, involved physicians and researchers at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, the University of Oregon and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The study, which involved images done on 328 heart patients at Sacred Heart, is part of an effort to standardize cardiac-image analyses to improve both diagnostics and patient care.
University of California San Diego Medical Center reports United States' first oral appendix removal
Full ArticleSurgeons at the University of California San Diego Medical Center have performed what is believed to be the country's first removal of a diseased appendix through the mouth. This clinical trial procedure received approval for a limited number of patients by University of California San Diego's Institutional Review Board (IRB) which oversees clinical research.
Asia's first Pharmacy Robot to be installed at Bumrungrad International
Full ArticleBumrungrad International will operate a complete packaging, storage and dispensing system that barcodes unit-dose medications on-site. This state-of-the-art, fully-automated drug management system by Swisslog - often called a "Pharmacy Robot" - is the first of its kind in Asia. Bumrungrad International will use it to improve care and safety for its patients.
Agfa HealthCare to connect Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust hospitals using IMPAX Data Centre
Full ArticleAgfa HealthCare, a provider of IT-enabled clinical work flow and diagnostic imaging solutions, has been selected to provide a Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS), a Radiology Information System (RIS) and cardiology solutions to Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust. The Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals will also be sharing their clinical archives through IMPAX Data Centre, that allows the consolidation of data from disparate storage systems into one single point of storage. Agfa HealthCare's IT solutions will transform the Trust's information work flow and enable the Trust to store all forms of diagnostic digital images - both static and moving - in one data centre.
Largest medical centre in Puerto Rico deploys Force10 Networks in campuswide upgrade to integrate systems and patient records
Full ArticleHospital Auxilio Mutuo, Puerto Rico's largest medical centre, has deployed Force10 Networks' TeraScale E-Series family of switch/routers and S-Series family of access switches to build a reliable network that provides doctors with always-on access to critical patient and imaging files. The Force10 TeraScale E300 and S50 provide the reliability and scalability Auxilio Mutuo requires to connect the hospital with its emergency rooms and other remote locations across Puerto Rico to better serve its patients.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
University of Virginia researcher's SpermCheck home test receives FDA OK
Full ArticleTechnology developed at the University of Virginia could soon have a dramatic impact on male contraception practices throughout the United States. Earlier this year, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved SpermCheck Vasectomy, a home test that confirms men's post-vasectomy sterility and is based on discoveries made at the University of Virginia.
Robosoft shows a new use-case of its robuBOX
Full ArticleDuring the Pierre-Gilles de Gennes's scientific exhibition opening, Robosoft has shown the first robotized machines developed for the City of Paris Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution (ESPCI), all powered by its robuBOX, the generic robotic middleware based on Microsoft Robotics Studio, that comes with every robot produced by Robosoft.
Virtual reality and computer technology improve stroke rehabilitation
Full ArticleA new computer programme, developed in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Haifa, will be able to identify the type of brain damage a patient has had, to calculate the probability of recovery and recommend the most effective ways to treat the patient.
SUNY researcher issued patent for virtual telemicroscope and actor-robots 'staff' part of new simulation training centre at Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center
Full ArticleAfter nearly ten years of research and development, scientists at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and Peking University in Beijing were awarded a United States patent for their virtual telemicroscope. This patented software permits off-site pathologists to diagnose cancer or other diseases in patients living in remote locations around the world. And in East Baltimore, a medical student places a chest tube in a patient lying on an operating table, while another student conducts a colonoscopy. Everything is just as it would be in a real OR or treatment room, except that the patients won't be harmed or complain if mistakes are made - they're robots. These high-tech, electronically outfitted mannequins are equipment in the new $5 million medical and surgical simulation training centre at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center that opened in March.
Sprint's hard-of-hearing customers benefit from new and free web-based solution
Full ArticleSprint has released Sprint WebCapTel, a new free web-based service that allows a person who can speak but has challenges hearing over the phone, to read word-for-word captions of their calls on a web browser. This new service is expected to help an estimated 23 million Americans with hearing loss, who may face challenges hearing over the telephone.
 
VMWC news bites
 
MMVR 16 proceedings highlight collaboratoral and synergetic aspects of medical virtual reality technologies
Full ArticleThe conference proceedings of the sixteenth edition of the annual "Medicine Meets Virtual Reality" (MMVR) event, held January 29 - February 1, 2008 in Long Beach, California, have been published as the 132th volume in the series dedicated to Studies in Health Technology and Informatics by IOS Press in Amsterdam. This MMVR 2008 edition includes 125 eminent contributions to the conference theme "parallel, combinatorial, convergent: NextMed by Design".
Ultra-fast, ultra-intense laser has clean-cut advantage
Full ArticleMany people equate lasers with a sci-fi battle in a galaxy far, far away or, closer to home, with grocery store scanners and compact disc players. However, an ultra-fast, ultra-intense laser, or UUL, with laser pulse durations of one quadrillionth of a second, otherwise known as one femtosecond, could change cancer treatments, dentistry procedures, precision metal cutting, and joint implant surgeries.
New robotic imaging technology holds promise of improved cancer care
Full ArticleNew research released at the Society of Interventional Radiology's (SIR) Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, D.C., holds promise of a new interventional imaging capability using advanced robotics provided by Siemens Healthcare, to improve the value of chemo-embolization in treating cancer. The research, presented by Dr. John Angle, Associate Professor of Radiology, Chief, Division of Angiography, University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, at the "Advanced Imaging Symposium", reveals clinical results from his case study using the Siemens Artis zeego, a multi-axis C-arm that employs robotic technology to enable large-volume syngo DynaCT acquisition for liver chemo-embolization.
Touch of Life Technologies and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons develop arthroscopic training system
Full ArticleTouch of Life Technologies (ToLTech) in partnership with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), has developed a surgical simulator for training and testing the diagnostic knee arthroscopy skills of physicians. This simulator allows training to take place with zero risk to the patient - while providing the surgeon with the "virtual reality" of feeling, as well as seeing, the anatomic detail of a human knee on the computer screen, in the same manner as when a patient is examined in the clinic.
ARTIS: a step towards an end-to-end robotic tele-echography service
Full ArticleOn 20 November 2007, the European Space Agency (ESA) kicked off the project "Advanced Robotic Tele-echography Integrated Service" (ARTIS). Led by the Institute for Space Physiology & Medicine (MEDES) in Toulouse, France, this 24-month project aims at validating a complete end-to-end robotized tele-echography service.
 

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