VMW Monthly - August 2008 - ISSN 1388-722X



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.

Advertisement

G-VMP STANDARD - A SMASHING NEW CONTENT MANAGEMENT TOOL!

Genias Benelux launches G-VMP Standard - Set up your magazine or newsletter in 30 minutes

*** 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.

Breaking news - just a click away:

 

Contents August 2008 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
University of California San Diego launches Institute of Engineering in Medicine to accelerate health care tech
Biology enters 'The Matrix' through new computer language
New disease-fighting nanoparticles look like miniature pastries
Australian e-Health Research Centre to receive A$20 million in funding and to join Open Health Tools Foundation
With $2 million NIH grant, Florida State University becomes one of world's top imaging centres
 
Grid for Health
 
Bull co-ordinates major project in the fight against cancer
First European initiative on Grid computing, biomedical informatics and nanoinformatics
Many processors make light work of calculations
$2 million computer will help unravel major medical ailments
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School uses high performance IBM computer in pursuit of medical treatments
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
InTouch Health announces launch of new product feature to transform stroke care through remote presence telestroke networks
Intel receives FDA market clearance on in-home medical device for management of health conditions
SaskTel and Alcatel-Lucent launch LifeStat Remote Monitoring and Health Management enabling effective management of chronic illnesses
GeckoSystems unveils proprietary sensor fusion for mobile robots
GenerationOne to launch United States' first mobile collaborative care solution
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
MAKO uses SolidWorks software to design robotics and implants for minimally invasive surgery alternative
IBM and ETH scientists advance supercomputing simulations to improve diagnosis of osteoporosis
Philips introduces HD15 ultrasound system
IMEC extends flexible ECG patch to enable arrhythmia detection
My Healthy Access and NuPhysicia sign joint operating agreement for Wal-Mart based telemedicine clinics
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
'Don't delay eHealth', advises Health First Europe anticipating European Commission's interoperability statement
Combining medical knowledge to save lives of patients suffering from cardiovascular disease
Disease-detecting lab in the palm of your hand
Patient mobility shifts to focus of health policy discussion in the European Union
Putting a virtual doctor in the ambulance
 
The 21st century hospital
 
IRIS Hospital Network chooses dbMotion to improve patient care with enterprise-wide interoperability platform
Study shows cost-effectiveness of 64-slice CT scanner in emergency department chest pain patients
Flaws in the barcoded technology used to reduce medication administration errors identified
First-of-a-Kind IBM technology to help doctors care for premature babies
Ascension's 3D Guidance medSAFE advancing earlier diagnosis of Infantile Cerebral Palsy
 
Virtual snap shots
 
BASF and Transinsight agree to collaborate in exploring alternatives to animal testing
See3D visualisation software to aid prostate cancer detection
The most capable support for telemedicine: the 50 million informal caregivers
A sensible censor for sharing medical records
Bioheart Inc. to introduce at-home heart failure monitor for Congestive Heart Failure patients
 
VMWC news bites
 
A virtual toothache helps student dentists
Robot playmates may help children with autism
A first for ROBOSOFT, PRISME and their partners: robotised tele-ultrasound examination via satellite
Detailed images from NanoZoomer robot help understand diseases
Cellular decision on the computer to predict and prevent cancer metastasis
 

Leads August 2008 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
University of California San Diego launches Institute of Engineering in Medicine to accelerate health care tech
Full ArticleThe world's top engineers, physicians and scientists are joining forces to conceptualize, develop and bring to reality the future tools and treatments of 21st century health care through the University of California (UC) San Diego's new Institute of Engineering in Medicine. Nanoparticle bombs to kill cancer, molecular-sized bridges to repair damaged hearts, and scarless surgery techniques are now on the frontier of medical innovations in California with the new Institute leading the way.
Biology enters 'The Matrix' through new computer language
Full ArticleEver since the human genome was sequenced less than 10 years ago, researchers have been able to access a dizzying plethora of genomic information with a simple click of a mouse. This digitizing of genomic data - and its public access - is something that would have been unthinkable a generation earlier.
New disease-fighting nanoparticles look like miniature pastries
Full ArticleUltra-miniature bialy-shaped particles - called nanobialys because they resemble tiny versions of the flat, onion-topped rolls popular in New York City - could soon be carrying medicinal compounds through patients' bloodstreams to tumours or atherosclerotic plaques. The nanobialys are an important addition to the stock of diagnostic and disease-fighting nanoparticles developed by researchers in the Consortium for Translational Research in Advanced Imaging and Nanomedicine (C-TRAIN) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. C-TRAIN's "smart" nanoparticles can deliver drugs and imaging agents directly to the site of tumours and plaques.
Australian e-Health Research Centre to receive A$20 million in funding and to join Open Health Tools Foundation
Full ArticleThe Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has welcomed the launch of the Australian e-Health Research Centre (AEHRC) as a national venture, supported by 20 million Australian dollars in funding from the Federal and Queensland governments. AEHRC has also joined the Open Health Tools Foundation, an international organisation devoted to improving patient and care provider access to reliable medical information.
With $2 million NIH grant, Florida State University becomes one of world's top imaging centres
Full ArticleAt Florida State University (FSU), the collective strength of biomedical research and the scientists who lead it has earned a $2 million High-End Instrumentation (HEI) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The one-year award will help FSU buy a state-of-the-art robotic electron microscope to advance cutting-edge studies of HIV/AIDS, heart disease, hypertension and cancer.
 
Grid for Health
 
Bull co-ordinates major project in the fight against cancer
Full ArticleThanks to the power it delivers, Bull's NovaScale supercomputer has helped to support a major step forward in cancer treatment, by enabling the extremely precise calculation of the dose of photons and electrons for external radiotherapy treatments.
First European initiative on Grid computing, biomedical informatics and nanoinformatics
Full ArticleFrom the first of June 2008 a consortium of seven European and Latin American partners has launched ACTION-Grid, the first ever initiative funded by the European Commission to analyse and link three areas: Biomedical Informatics, Grid technologies and Nanoinformatics.
Many processors make light work of calculations
Full ArticleSolving complicated calculations has never been easy, but a new European computing Grid means researchers can number crunch their data faster than ever before. Personal computers may be getting faster, but the increasing amount of processing power is still not able to keep pace with what researchers need. The techniques used by researchers in physics, medicine, space, energy, and environmental science are generating more and more detailed data, which means that crunching these numbers down to get a definite answer is not getting any shorter despite technological advances.
$2 million computer will help unravel major medical ailments
Full ArticleA federal grant will allow Johns Hopkins researchers to purchase a powerful $2 million computer that will speed up their efforts to find new ways to diagnose and treat brain disease, heart illnesses, cancer and other medical ailments. The Institute for Computational Medicine, based at Johns Hopkins' Homewood campus in Baltimore, will receive one of the 20 High-End Instrumentation Grants for 2008 awarded by the National Center for Research Resources, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The one-time grants are awarded to support the purchase of sophisticated equipment costing more than $750.000, machines with the potential to impact a wide range of biomedical research. The $2 million grant to the Johns Hopkins institute was the maximum amount allowed for any single project.
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School uses high performance IBM computer in pursuit of medical treatments
Full ArticleResearchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) Robert Wood Johnson Medical School have selected a high performance IBM computer to perform research they hope will one day lead to more effective treatment of medical conditions like infertility and thyroid problems.
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
InTouch Health announces launch of new product feature to transform stroke care through remote presence telestroke networks
Full ArticleInTouch Technologies Inc. (d.b.a. InTouch Health), specialized in Remote Presence health care solutions, has launched a new product feature, StrokeRESPOND, to extend the functionality of its Remote Presence robotic technology for stroke experts. The company's stroke solution is part of a focused initiative to develop telestroke networks to enhance stroke care. The company has also entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with Genentech, to facilitate Activase (Alteplase) education for its growing telestroke customer base. Activase, a recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) developed by Genentech, is approved for the management of acute ischemic stroke in adults.
Intel receives FDA market clearance on in-home medical device for management of health conditions
Full ArticleIntel Corporation has received 510(k) market clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Intel's personal health system, the Intel Health Guide, a care management tool for health care professionals who manage patients with chronic conditions. The Intel Health Guide enables caregivers to provide their patients with more personalized care at home, while also engaging and empowering patients to take a more active and positive role in their own care.
SaskTel and Alcatel-Lucent launch LifeStat Remote Monitoring and Health Management enabling effective management of chronic illnesses
Full ArticleSaskTel and Alcatel-Lucent have launched LifeStat Remote Monitoring and Health Management, a service that records and transmits daily blood glucose and blood pressure readings, automatically creating confidential, easy-to-use reports that can be viewed on-line by the client, their caregivers, and the client's health care professionals. The ongoing development and support of the LifeStat platform and applications will be managed by SaskTel and Alcatel-Lucent through their Salveo project, which is based in Saskatchewan.
GeckoSystems unveils proprietary sensor fusion for mobile robots
Full ArticleGeckoSystems Intl. Corp. has applied newly developed, proprietary sensor fusion technologies for more fully autonomous mobile robots patrolling through loose, moving crowds in airport, bus, and train terminals; shopping centres and other public areas. GeckoSystems is a dynamic expert in the emerging Mobile Service Robot (MSR) industry revolutionizing their development and usage with mobile robot solutions for safety, security, and service. The company has also further improved mobile robot performance, while holding costs constant, with the introduction of its newly improved GeckoMotorController 6.1 software and lowered mobile robot navigation system costs while improving safety and overall performance with the introduction of its CompoundedSensorArray 5.2. In addition, GeckoSystems has completed the development of its advanced mobile robot diagnostic and sensor calibration software, GeckoZap 7.4 and the testing of its advanced intelligent mobile robot navigation software, GeckoNav 3.7.
GenerationOne to launch United States' first mobile collaborative care solution
Full ArticleGenerationOne Inc. is gearing up to launch the United States' first integrated collaborative care solution that utilizes mobile phones to connect patients, physicians and other care providers. By delivering interactive monitoring, real-time care alerts and useful medical information, GenerationOne gives individuals the tools they need to make informed decisions about their health and reduce emergency care.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
MAKO uses SolidWorks software to design robotics and implants for minimally invasive surgery alternative
Full ArticleMore than 1.000.000 stiff and aching knees worldwide get replaced every year, many of which are now candidates for a breakthrough, minimally invasive knee surgery option called MAKOplasty. All of the procedure's key components - including a robotic arm and minimally-invasive resurfacing knee implants - were designed in SolidWorks 3D CAD software.
IBM and ETH scientists advance supercomputing simulations to improve diagnosis of osteoporosis
Full ArticleUsing a Blue Gene supercomputer, scientists of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) and the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory demonstrated the most extensive simulation yet of real human bone structures, providing doctors a "high definition" view of the strength and fragility of bones they never had before. This achievement could lead to better clinical tools to improve the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, a widespread disease that affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50.
Philips introduces HD15 ultrasound system
Full ArticleRoyal Philips Electronics has launched the latest addition to its HD ultrasound family of products. The Philips HD15 ultrasound system provides physicians with superb imaging and work flow performance in a cost-effective system.
IMEC extends flexible ECG patch to enable arrhythmia detection
Full ArticleIn the framework of Holst Centre, IMEC has further extended the functionality of its wireless ECG patch for cardiac monitoring. It added wave analysis software locally on the patch node. The algorithm achieves excellent results for sensitivity and predictivity, and covers a broad range of wave morphologies. The innovative ECG patch is intended to monitor single-lead ECG in daily-life conditions, opening new perspectives for cardiovascular disease management. Besides technological advancements, IMEC also has teamed with National Semiconductor, a specialist in energy-efficient analogue integrated circuits, as a new partner within its Human++ programme.
My Healthy Access and NuPhysicia sign joint operating agreement for Wal-Mart based telemedicine clinics
Full ArticleMy Healthy Access Inc.'s mission to continually provide the highest-quality access to health care available today resulted in the signing of a joint operating agreement with NuPhysicia LLC for the operation of Telemedicine clinics in select Houston-area Wal-Mart Supercenters. In order to ensure that patients can differentiate between the physician directed services provided in the company's clinics and the nurse-based services provided by most other retail clinic operators, the parties have agreed to operate under the trade name "Walk-In Telemedicine Health Care".
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
'Don't delay eHealth', advises Health First Europe anticipating European Commission's interoperability statement
Full ArticleHealth First Europe called on the European Union (EU) to facilitate the development and integration of eHealth into the provision of day-to-day health care services. The announcement came on the eve of the Commission's highly anticipated Recommendation on interoperability, defined as "the connecting of health care workers, systems and services", which is crucial for quality European health care.
Combining medical knowledge to save lives of patients suffering from cardiovascular disease
Full ArticleEuropean researchers hope to gain more insight into cardiovascular disease by combining clinical, laboratory and metabolic records with genomic data. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the biggest killer among chronic diseases, claiming 17 million lives globally every year. Yet doctors can only attribute 50 percent of cardiovascular diseases to known risk factors.
Disease-detecting lab in the palm of your hand
Full ArticleDetecting food-borne diseases such as campylobacter and salmonella long before they enter the food chain would help ensure that the dinner on your table is safe to eat. There is no quick and simple way to detect infectious bacteria on farms, or even in food processing and distribution plants. Samples have to be sent to labs for testing, a process that can take hours or days.
Patient mobility shifts to focus of health policy discussion in the European Union
Full ArticleThe draft directive on cross-border health care services a few days ago was the centre of focus of an information and discussion-related event of the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) and SME Union of the EPP - Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Union of the European People's Party - held Tuesday under the direction of EHFG President Günther Leiner and SME Global President and MEP Paul Rübig at the European Parliament in Brussels. Despite the onset of the summer lull, there are already a large number of reactions to this long-awaited draft, which underscores the significance of the issue.
Putting a virtual doctor in the ambulance
Full ArticleA new ambulance communications system will enable doctors to diagnose and begin treating critically ill patients before they reach the hospital. Diagnosing and treating a critically ill or injured patient as early as possible can mean the difference between life and death. A new communications system between a moving ambulance and its hospital base allows the simultaneous transmission of bandwidth-hungry video and ultra-sonic images, telephone communications and patient data, all at the same time.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
IRIS Hospital Network chooses dbMotion to improve patient care with enterprise-wide interoperability platform
Full ArticleIRIS, the organizational network of Brussels' five public hospitals, and dbMotion have signed an agreement for a major project to provide an interoperability platform for medical information sharing to the Brussels region. The dbMotion Solution's flexible platform meets the needs of IRIS' clinicians for a portal enabling secure access to integrated patient information across its eleven sites. The result of having the patient's fully integrated medical record available to the clinician at the point of care will be to improve safety and provide better, quality care.
Study shows cost-effectiveness of 64-slice CT scanner in emergency department chest pain patients
Full ArticleA recent study led by Rahul Khare, MD, emergency department physician and assistant director of operations at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, sought to determine the cost-effectiveness of utilizing a CT scanner to evaluate low-risk chest pain patients in the emergency room. The study results which are published in the July issue of Academic Emergency Medicine show that using a 64-slice CT scanner is more cost-effective than the current standard of care for evaluating and diagnosing this patient population, which includes an overnight stay in the observation unit and cardiac stress testing.
Flaws in the barcoded technology used to reduce medication administration errors identified
Full ArticleIn the first study of its kind, researchers led by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine's Ross Koppel, Ph.D. studied how hospital nurses actually use bar-coded technology that matches the right patient with the right dose of the right medication. The surprising result is that the design and implementation of the technology, which is often relied upon as a "cure-all" for medication administration errors, is flawed, and can increase the probabilities of certain errors.
First-of-a-Kind IBM technology to help doctors care for premature babies
Full ArticleIBM and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) have set up a first-of-a-kind research project to help doctors detect subtle changes in the condition of critically ill premature babies. The project will see a group of internationally recognized researchers, led by Dr. Carolyn McGregor, a UOIT associate professor and Canada Research Chair in Health Informatics, use advanced stream computing software developed by IBM Research to work toward greatly enhancing the decision-making capabilities of doctors. The software ingests a constant stream of biomedical data, such as heart rate and respiration, along with environmental data gathered from advanced sensors and more traditional monitoring equipment on and around the babies.
Ascension's 3D Guidance medSAFE advancing earlier diagnosis of Infantile Cerebral Palsy
Full ArticleAscension Technology Corporation's 3D Guidance medSAFE is being used by medical researchers at the Center for Child and Adolescent Medicine at Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany to develop a computer-based system for the early diagnosis of Infantile Cerebral Palsy (ICP). ICP is a major impairment of the human motor system due to early damage of the central nervous system. It affects about seven out of 100 extremely premature babies, and two out of 1000 term born children.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
BASF and Transinsight agree to collaborate in exploring alternatives to animal testing
Full ArticleBASF SE and Transinsight GmbH, a provider of semantic search technologies for Web 2.0, have agreed to establish close co-operation in the area of semantic analyses to search for alternatives to animal testing. Together with the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment - Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung BfR, both companies will expand the first specialized semantic search engine for this research area called www.Go3R.org to become a global internet platform. In the future, experts from all over the world will be able to use this platform to bring together their knowledge on alternative and supplementary methods to animal testing.
See3D visualisation software to aid prostate cancer detection
Full ArticleVisualisation specialist See3D, a spin-off company of the University of Aberystwyth, has been awarded a significant contract to develop sophisticated computer-generated models that will help doctors to improve the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.
The most capable support for telemedicine: the 50 million informal caregivers
Full ArticleThe future of the United States economy will, to a large degree, depend on a good solution for the largest problem: the runaway cost of health care. Telemedicine would be of great help to solve this problem. The family and informal caregiver can become the one who takes and reports the vital signs of the care recipient, thus lower the cost of medicine.
A sensible censor for sharing medical records
Full ArticleNewly developed MIT software will help to allay patients' fears about who has access to their confidential records, facilitating the use of that data for medical research. In the July 24 issue of the journal BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, a team of MIT researchers describes a computer programme capable of automatically deleting details from medical records that may identify patients, while leaving important medical information intact.
Bioheart Inc. to introduce at-home heart failure monitor for Congestive Heart Failure patients
Full ArticleBioheart Inc., a company committed to delivering intelligent devices and biologics that help monitor, diagnose and treat heart failure and cardiovascular diseases, has secured worldwide non-exclusive distribution rights to the Bioheart 3370 Heart Failure Monitor, an interactive and simple-to-use at-home intelligent device designed specifically to improve available health care to patients outside hospitals who are suffering from heart failure. The device, manufactured by RTX Healthcare A/S in Denmark, has 510k market clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration for marketing in the United States and CE mark approval for marketing in Europe and other countries that follow this mark. The company is planning to begin immediate commercial distribution.
 
VMWC news bites
 
A virtual toothache helps student dentists
Full ArticleMasha is a dental patient. Her oral health problems continue to change as she meets new Case Western Reserve University student dentists in Second Life's virtual dental office. The middle-aged avatar is an integral part of a new research project of the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and the College of Arts and Sciences department of communication sciences to teach and give students practice time to communicate with mock patients. Not only do findings from the study have potential to revolutionize dental education but also to change the way national testing is done for patient-side communication skills.
Robot playmates may help children with autism
Full ArticlePapers delivered at three conferences in the United States and Europe this summer report on new research at the University of Southern California (USC) Viterbi School of Engineering studying interactions of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) with bubble-blowing robots. The preliminary studies, by Professor Maja Mataric and PhD student David Feil-Seifer of the USC Interaction Laboratory, confirm what has been widely reported anecdotically: that ASD children in many cases interact more easily with mechanical devices than with humans.
A first for ROBOSOFT, PRISME and their partners: robotised tele-ultrasound examination via satellite
Full ArticlePartners in the European MARTE - Mobile And Robotised Tele-Echography - project, in collaboration with ROBOSOFT, carried out the first robotised tele-ultrasound examination via satellite. This demonstration was accomplished with an ESTELE robot, entirely controlled by the robuBOX.
Detailed images from NanoZoomer robot help understand diseases
Full Article"TIGA", the new high-tech imaging centre at the University of Heidelberg founded in co-operation with the Japanese company Hamamatsu, provides deep insights: a high-tech robot makes it possible for the first time to automatically reproduce and evaluate tissue slices only micromillimeters thick - an important aid for researchers in understanding cancer or in following in detail the effect of treatment on cells and tissue.
Cellular decision on the computer to predict and prevent cancer metastasis
Full ArticleScientists of the Division of Theoretical Bioinformatics at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) in Heidelberg have simulated on the computer how cells decide whether or not to migrate. Using their results, the researchers were able to predict the molecular targets within a cell that have to be hit so that its behaviour changes in a particular direction. This method may help to develop new treatments against cancer metastasis. The scientists have published their results in the latest issue of Molecular Systems Biology.
 

Interested in searching through our archives? Please, do not hesitate to consult our back issues on the VMW Web site.
VMW also hosts a Virtual Medical Worlds Community. The VMWC platform initiative is aimed at creating a dynamic synergy between advanced IT technology suppliers and researchers on the one hand, and clinical users and companies in the (tele)medical sector on the other. Check out the VMWC home page for more details on how you can join.

© 2008, Genias Benelux

go to top