VMW Monthly - July 2008 - ISSN 1388-722X



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RFID and Emerging Technologies Market Guide to Healthcare

Bradley Sokol - Fast Track Technologies Ltd.

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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 2008 in Dresden ***

VMW's sister magazine Primeur went live "at a distance" from the recent ISC 2008 Conference in Dresden. We bring you an overview of the most appetizing topics addressing the latest developments in the fields of high performance and Grid computing. Please enjoy.

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Contents July 2008 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
University of Virginia engineers develop novel device to help treat ear infections
NIST/NIH micromagnets show promise as colourful 'smart tags' for magnetic resonance imaging
New electrostatic-based DNA microarray technique could revolutionize medical diagnostics
Pitt receives $2,5 million to simulate and analyse brain and immune system activity
Three sequencing companies join 1000 Genomes Project
 
Grid for Health
 
International HealthGrid Conference attendees examine the challenges of improving medical research and health care using Grid technology
Roadrunner supercomputer puts research at a new scale, mimicking brain mechanisms underlying human sight
IBM supercomputer bolsters cancer research
Victorian Premier Brumby announces plans to build world's largest life sciences supercomputer facility during visit to SDSC
Idle computers offer hope to solve cancer's mysteries through Grid computing project
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
University of Ulster spin-out unveils breakthrough vital sign monitors
3M Track and Trace Solutions installs RFID tracking system to manage 150.000 medical records at Fort Hood
Computers as safe as medical experts in prescribing blood thinning drugs
Drugs.com launches professional health care information resource in anticipation of 3G iPhone
New on-line care for hypertension gets results
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
Ericsson and Apollo Hospitals to introduce mobile health services in rural India
Dell electronic lab notebook solution unleashes information for pharmaceutical and biotech researchers
Microsoft launches new version of consumer engagement reference architecture for health plans
IBM data sharing technology speeds international collaboration to identify and respond to infectious diseases
Hallmark Health System selects Concordant to transform its EHR environment into a health care grade EHR infrastructure
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
EuroDYNA leaves healthy genomic research ecosystem as legacy
Manchester clears first hurdle in 170 million euro biobank building boom
Wavelets crunch through doctors' day long struggle to diagnose brain tumours
European research project to explore Alzheimer's disease diagnosis
Network designed to help health care professionals
 
The 21st century hospital
 
St. Mary's Medical Center implements health information system from Siemens Healthcare
University of Texas Southwestern surgeons complete first single-incision lap-band surgery in Texas
New model predicts whether patients will be free of renal cancer 12 years after initial treatment
Gesture interface device developed by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
First master patient index in Switzerland
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Elekta launches innovative new platform developed to provide a clearer understanding of radiotherapy solutions for the treatment of cancer
Tangent announces 17 inch all-in-one medical grade point-of-care PC and DataCove 8000L e-mail archival appliance
New MotionStar wireless model makes full-body tracking affordable
New telemedicine service to help in the care of sick babies
Hebrew University study opening new route for combating viruses
 
VMWC news bites
 
Researchers develop neural implant that learns with the brain
Tongue Drive system lets persons with disabilities operate powered wheelchairs and computers
Laser surgery probe targets individual cancer cells
Caltech scientists decipher the neurological basis of timely movement
Texas Advanced Computing Center supercomputer performs laser cancer surgery on canine
 

Leads July 2008 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
University of Virginia engineers develop novel device to help treat ear infections
Full ArticleOne of the most common surgeries performed on paediatric patients could become faster and safer thanks to a new surgical tool developed by a team of University of Virginia engineers. Led by Shayn Peirce-Cottler, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Dr. Bradley Kesser, an Ear/Nose/Throat (ENT) surgeon at the University of Virginia Health System, University of Virginia undergraduate researchers developed the novel device that combines three of the tools used in the surgical implantation of ear ventilation tubes. The new tool is currently in clinical trials and has shown promising results.
NIST/NIH micromagnets show promise as colourful 'smart tags' for magnetic resonance imaging
Full ArticleCustomized microscopic magnets that might one day be injected into the body could add colour to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), while also potentially enhancing sensitivity and the amount of information provided by images, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) report. The new micromagnets also could act as "smart tags" identifying particular cells, tissues, or physiological conditions, for medical research or diagnostic purposes.
New electrostatic-based DNA microarray technique could revolutionize medical diagnostics
Full ArticleThe dream of personalized medicine - in which diagnostics, risk predictions and treatment decisions are based on a patient's genetic profile - may be on the verge of being expanded beyond the wealthiest of nations with state-of-the-art clinics. A team of researchers with the United States Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has invented a technique in which DNA or RNA assays - the key to genetic profiling and disease detection - can be read and evaluated without the need of elaborate chemical labeling or sophisticated instrumentation. Based on electrostatic repulsion - in which objects with the same electrical charge repel one another - the technique is relatively simple and inexpensive to implement, and can be carried out in a matter of minutes.
Pitt receives $2,5 million to simulate and analyse brain and immune system activity
Full ArticleIn an effort to promote the application of mathematics to medical treatment, researchers in the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Mathematics will undertake a $2,5 million project to create models of how the brain and immune system function and change over time in response to certain illnesses, infections, and treatment. The models are intended to help doctors better understand and predict the possible short- and long-term responses of their patient's body to treatment.
Three sequencing companies join 1000 Genomes Project
Full ArticleThree firms that have pioneered development of new sequencing technologies have joined the international effort to build the most detailed map to date of human genetic variation as a tool for medical research. The new participants are 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company, Branford, Connecticut; Applied Biosystems, an Applera Corporation business, Foster City, California; and Illumina Inc., San Diego.
 
Grid for Health
 
International HealthGrid Conference attendees examine the challenges of improving medical research and health care using Grid technology
Full ArticleThe Sixth International HealthGrid Conference opened with a warm welcome from Robert Zimmer, president, University of Chicago, being held at the University's Gleacher Center. "You're doing important work that is having and will continue to have a positive effect on health care."
Roadrunner supercomputer puts research at a new scale, mimicking brain mechanisms underlying human sight
Full ArticleLess than a week after Los Alamos National Laboratory's Roadrunner supercomputer began operating at world-record petaflop/s data-processing speeds, Los Alamos researchers are already using the computer to mimic extremely complex neurological processes. Welcome to the new frontier of research at Los Alamos: science at the petascale. The prefix "peta" stands for a million billion, also known as a quadrillion. For the Roadrunner supercomputer, operating at petaflop/s performance means the machine can process a million billion calculations each second. In other words, Roadrunner gives scientists the ability to quickly render mountainous problems into mere molehills, or model systems that previously were unthinkably complex.
IBM supercomputer bolsters cancer research
Full ArticleIBM has deployed Canada's fastest research supercomputer at the Ontario Cancer Institute, University Health Network. The new system will aid in the search for more effective cancer treatments. This ground-breaking research analyses millions of images of proteins. Through automation, high resolution imaging and sophisticated computer-based image classification, researchers are attempting to more quickly identify the structure of disease-related proteins, and thus improve our ability to design new treatments for cancer.
Victorian Premier Brumby announces plans to build world's largest life sciences supercomputer facility during visit to SDSC
Full ArticleAustralia's Victorian Premier John Brumby has launched a $100 million (AUD) initiative to build the world's largest life sciences supercomputer facility to assist in discovering cures and therapies for such life-threatening diseases such as cancer, brain disorders and flu pandemics. In making the announcement at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California (UC) San Diego, Premier Brumby said the Victorian government is investing $50 million in the supercomputer facility, complementing University of Melbourne and other funding of an additional $50 million to establish the Victorian Life Sciences Computation initiative at the University's Parkville Precinct.
Idle computers offer hope to solve cancer's mysteries through Grid computing project
Full ArticleA biomedical engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin is using a concept called "Grid computing" to allow the average person to donate idle computer time in a global effort to fight cancer. Muhammad Zaman, assistant professor in biomedical engineering, recently introduced Cellular Environment in Living Systems @Home or CELS@Home for short. The programme already has more than 1000 computer users worldwide contributing to the project. And the numbers keep growing.
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
University of Ulster spin-out unveils breakthrough vital sign monitors
Full ArticleInnovative medical technology developed by a University of Ulster spin-out company is set to transform the way doctors monitor their patients' hearts and other vital signs. A tiny device invented by spin-out company ST+D will enable clinicians to assess a patient's condition irrespective of where they are. The "no wires" technology will also help to reduce patients' time in hospital and free up beds more quickly.
3M Track and Trace Solutions installs RFID tracking system to manage 150.000 medical records at Fort Hood
Full Article3M has completed the development and installation of a radio frequency identification (RFID) Smart Shelf System to track and manage the more than 150.000 medical files of United States Army personnel and their family members at Fort Hood, Texas. Under the terms of a three-year, $3,76-million contract, 3M Track and Trace Solutions will provide training and maintenance services over the next year.
Computers as safe as medical experts in prescribing blood thinning drugs
Full ArticleThe largest ever study into the administration of blood thinning drugs, principally Warfarin, has concluded that dosages calculated by computer are at least as safe and reliable as those provided by expert medical professionals. Increasing evidence of the value of these anticoagulant drugs in a wide range of clinical disorders such as abnormal heart rhythm, or atrial fibrillation, has led to a rapid rise in their use around the world.
Drugs.com launches professional health care information resource in anticipation of 3G iPhone
Full ArticleDrugs.com, an on-line resource for clinical drug and related health information, has launched its professional edition for the iPhone. This new mobile edition of Drugs.com provides physicians and health care professionals with a free drug information service for easy access to medication summaries, dosing information, warnings and built-in drug interactions for all medications commonly used in the United States. With this tool, physicians and health care professionals can protect patients and increase their productivity by being able to quickly find the answers they need to make informed decisions. Unlike installed applications, the Drugs.com mobile edition offers information that is updated in real-time.
New on-line care for hypertension gets results
Full ArticleWeb-based care and at-home blood pressure checks can help control hypertension without office visits, according to the Electronic Blood Pressure (e-BP) study of more than 700 Group Health patients published in the June 25 Journal of the American Medical Association.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
Ericsson and Apollo Hospitals to introduce mobile health services in rural India
Full ArticleEricsson and Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation (ATNF), a part of the Apollo Hospitals Group, an Indian health care company, are teaming to help bridge the digital divide in rural India by laying the foundation for the introduction of mobile health services. Telemedicine delivered using HSPA technology will enable the provision of affordable and accessible health care to millions of people in remote areas.
Dell electronic lab notebook solution unleashes information for pharmaceutical and biotech researchers
Full ArticleWith pharmaceutical and biotech companies spending billions of dollars to bring new drugs to market, many are turning to Dell to help improve their research efficiency and collaboration while helping to lower the cost of discovering new therapeutics through Dell's electronic lab notebook (ELN) solution bundle.
Microsoft launches new version of consumer engagement reference architecture for health plans
Full ArticleSpurring health plans to pro-actively engage consumers, Microsoft Corporation has released its Consumer Engagement Reference Architecture (CERA) version 4, providing guidance for the first time to help payers connect to "in the cloud" platforms and services such as HealthVault, Windows Live and more.
IBM data sharing technology speeds international collaboration to identify and respond to infectious diseases
Full ArticleThe ability to easily and securely share health information is essential to improving the quality of comprehensive patient care as well as public health and safety. IBM, in collaboration with the Nuclear Threat Initiative's (NTI) Global Health and Security Initiative and the Middle East Consortium on Infectious Disease Surveillance (MECIDS), has created a unique technology that standardizes the method of sharing health information and automates the analysis of infectious disease outbreaks, in order to help contain diseases and minimize their impact.
Hallmark Health System selects Concordant to transform its EHR environment into a health care grade EHR infrastructure
Full ArticleConcordant Inc., a provider of health care IT services, has completed one of the first health care grade infrastructure plans for Hallmark Health System Inc., a premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. Hallmark's objective was to restructure its existing helpdesk and support functions in order to meet the needs of Hallmarks' 3500 IT user base. By implementing a best practice methodology, Concordant was able to assess and develop a robust roadmap to address the current needs of the organisation while focusing on the recent changes brought about by the implementation of Advanced Clinical Systems.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
EuroDYNA leaves healthy genomic research ecosystem as legacy
Full ArticleEurope's position as a major player in genome research has been boosted by the European Science Foundation's (ESF) three-year EUROCORES programme EuroDYNA. As it draws to a close, EuroDYNA - Dynamic Nuclear Architecture and Chromatin Function - is leaving behind a healthy European ecosystem of interacting multi-disciplinary research projects focused on the structure of the cellular nucleus and mechanisms governing gene expression.
Manchester clears first hurdle in 170 million euro biobank building boom
Full ArticleThe University of Manchester has been successful in gaining major European Union funding to begin joint planning of how millions of biological samples, such as DNA, can be managed and made available to research scientists across Europe. The Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research (CIGMR), based in the School of Translational Medicine, is playing a key role in developing the Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) alongside scientists and funding agencies in other European member states.
Wavelets crunch through doctors' day long struggle to diagnose brain tumours
Full ArticleToday if doctors devote a full day to analysis and expert thought, they may be able to provide just half a dozen patients with a diagnosis of the precise type of brain tumour they face. Now researchers at the University of Warwick have devised an automated technique that can give a preliminary analysis of the precise brain tumour type within seconds.
European research project to explore Alzheimer's disease diagnosis
Full ArticleVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, GE Healthcare, a division of the General Electric Company, and a Consortium of leading research institutions across Europe have launched the PredictAD project, a research collaboration aimed at developing new diagnostic procedures for patients with Alzheimer's disease. Today there is no single test or biomarker that can predict whether a particular person will develop Alzheimer's disease and a definitive diagnosis is only possible after death - with postmortem analysis.
Network designed to help health care professionals
Full ArticleEuropean researchers have developed a computer system designed to give health care professionals access to a broader range of medical information. However the system, which was meant to allow them to share medical information across a network, highlighted the limits of computer "understanding". Unlike humans, computers can't yet make the connecting leaps among various bits of information. The European Union-funded Doc@Hand project set out to improve co-ordination among health professionals by improving access to information. The researchers aimed to "push" information to health professionals making decisions about patients' health care, rather than expecting those professionals to "pull" out all the relevant data.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
St. Mary's Medical Center implements health information system from Siemens Healthcare
Full ArticleSt. Mary's Medical Center has completed the implementation of Soarian, a health information management system that supports the delivery of optimum care, from Siemens Healthcare. The facility will leverage the benefits of both Soarian Clinicals and Soarian Financials which respectively address specific needs related to the patient care process. Soarian will help St. Mary's to improve productivity and drive throughput while making critical information available to authorized caregivers at all points of care.
University of Texas Southwestern surgeons complete first single-incision lap-band surgery in Texas
Full ArticleUniversity of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center surgeons have completed the first single-incision Lap-Band weight-loss surgery in Texas. Rather than the traditional five small incisions used for traditional laparoscopic gastric banding surgery, surgeons used a single 8-centimeter incision, reducing future scarring and accelerating healing.
New model predicts whether patients will be free of renal cancer 12 years after initial treatment
Full ArticleA University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center physician and other researchers have developed a unique statistical model that predicts the probability of a patient being cancer free 12 years after initial surgical treatment. The model, known as a nomogram, uses tumour and patient characteristics to maximize predictive accuracy. Scientists said that knowing the likelihood of the cancer's return can help clinicians counsel patients and to customize treatment recommendations for individual patients.
Gesture interface device developed by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Full ArticleResearchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel have developed a new hand gesture recognition system, tested at a Washington, D.C. hospital, that enables doctors to manipulate digital images during medical procedures by motioning instead of touching a screen, keyboard or mouse which compromises sterility and could spread infection, according to a just released article.
First master patient index in Switzerland
Full ArticleAfter an extensive tender procedure, Hirslanden, a Swiss private clinic group, has opted for the master patient index in the professional suite offered by eHealth specialist InterComponentWare (ICW). The proven ICW solution for the integration of heterogenous hospital technology environments will be used in the 13 private clinics and 100 centres of excellence and specialized institutes of the Hirslanden group, making Hirslanden the first clinic group in Switzerland to use a master patient index solution.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Elekta launches innovative new platform developed to provide a clearer understanding of radiotherapy solutions for the treatment of cancer
Full ArticleElekta has created a 3D Virtual Clinic which offers radiation therapists, administrators, patients and investors alike a unique opportunity to better acquaint themselves with Elekta's products and solutions and how they are interconnected.
Tangent announces 17 inch all-in-one medical grade point-of-care PC and DataCove 8000L e-mail archival appliance
Full ArticleTangent Inc., a provider of technology solutions, has launched a new lightweight, 17 inch all-in-one point-of-care PC that meets all certifications for patient safety, is designed to withstand a harsh patient care environment, and has an industry-leading power efficiency. In addition, the company has unveiled DataCove 8000L, a feature-rich enterprise class e-mail archival appliance based on the DataCove OS 4.0. at the LegalTech trade show in Los Angeles.
New MotionStar wireless model makes full-body tracking affordable
Full ArticleAscension Technology Corporation has launched a significant price reduction of its long range, untethered tracker for capturing the motions of humans. MotionStar Wireless LITE is an updated, portable version of Ascension's MotionStar Wireless 2 product, which has been popularly used by animators worldwide for capturing the motions of over 500 characters for television, movies and video game productions. Researchers in ergonomics, kinesthetics, and biomechanical analysis have also used it extensively.
New telemedicine service to help in the care of sick babies
Full Article"Tiny Tom", an innovative new telemedicine service which will help with the care of sick babies in North Queensland was launched in Townsville on June 27, 2008. Tiny Tom is the latest development of the telepaediatric service, a major research project run by the University of Queensland's Centre for Online Health (COH), a research centre based in the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane.
Hebrew University study opening new route for combating viruses
Full ArticleA unique technique for analysing the function of microRNAs developed by a Hebrew University of Jerusalem doctoral student has led to the discovery of a new mechanism by which viruses evade the human immune system. This discovery has important implications for human intervention in the battle between viruses and humans.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Researchers develop neural implant that learns with the brain
Full ArticleDevices known as brain-machine interfaces could someday be used routinely to help paralyzed patients and amputees control prosthetic limbs with just their thoughts. Now, University of Florida researchers have taken the concept a step further, devising a way for computerized devices not only to translate brain signals into movement but also to evolve with the brain as it learns.
Tongue Drive system lets persons with disabilities operate powered wheelchairs and computers
Full ArticleA new assistive technology developed by engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology could help individuals with severe disabilities lead more independent lives. The novel system allows individuals with disabilities to operate a computer, control a powered wheelchair and interact with their environments simply by moving their tongues.
Laser surgery probe targets individual cancer cells
Full ArticleMechanical engineering Assistant Professor Adela Ben-Yakar at the University of Texas at Austin has developed a laser "microscalpel" that destroys a single cell while leaving nearby cells intact, which could improve the precision of surgeries for cancer, epilepsy and other diseases.
Caltech scientists decipher the neurological basis of timely movement
Full ArticleContrary to what one might imagine, the way in which each of us interacts with the world is not a simple matter of seeing or touching, or smelling, and then reacting. Even the best baseball hitter eyeing a fastball does not swing at what he sees. The neurons and neural connections that make up our sensory systems are far too slow for this to work. "Everything we sense is a little bit in the past", stated Richard A. Andersen of the California Institute of Technology, who has now uncovered the trick the brain uses to get around this puzzling problem.
Texas Advanced Computing Center supercomputer performs laser cancer surgery on canine
Full ArticleIn April 2008, the Lonestar supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) in Austin performed laser surgery on a dog in Houston without the intervention of a surgeon. The treatment was developed collaboratively by computational experts from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, cyberinfrastructure specialists and systems from TACC, and leading technologists from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Using precise lasers, state-of-the-art thermal imaging technology, and advanced computational methods, dynamic, data-driven treatments are being pursued as a minimally invasive alternative to the standard treatment of cancer.
 

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© 2008, Genias Benelux

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