VMW Monthly - October 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 October 2008 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
As personalized, genomic medicine takes off, four developing countries show the way for others
Prosthetic vein valve designed to direct blood flow shows promising pre-clinical results
Project aims to reduce complications and multiple surgeries with biodegradable implantable devices
Coming soon: self-guided, computer-based depression treatment
Taking the next step toward advanced artificial limbs
 
Grid for Health
 
Fatal protein interactions may explain neurological diseases
Interfaith Medical Center deploys VMware infrastructure as platform for Windows applications
Novel drug discovery leverages SIMDAT Grid technology
Grids are more than just an infrastructure
Northwest Radiology Network implements new enterprise solution to dramatically improve medical records management
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Mobile health initiative expands to over twenty countries in Africa
AllOne Mobile to provide access to Microsoft HealthVault using mobile phones
Honeywell's remote monitoring solutions help reduce rehospitalizations and duration of hospital stays for patients
Better health through your cell phone
Research project on computer-assisted diabetes risk management started
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
Grameen Health to establish independent collaborations with Pfizer, GE Healthcare, and Mayo Clinic to create sustainable health care delivery models for the developing world
eHealth terminal from SCM Microsystems approved for German eHealth card programme
Scientists at IBM and Genome Institute of Singapore make new stem cell discovery
Mid Rogue eHealth Services now offers electronic prescribing
Charlotte endocrinologist improving diabetic patient care with preventive vision loss technology
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Optical sensors make MRI scans safer
Disposable 'lab-on-a-chip' may save costs and lives
LEO Pharma unveils major breakthrough in psoriasis management
Smart alarm clock for mobile phones
New tool for early diagnosis of breast cancer
 
The 21st century hospital
 
EDAP installs first Ablatherm robotic HIFU device in The Netherlands continuing European expansion
Minimally-invasive aortic valve bypass benefits high-risk elderly patients
North Shore University Hospital makes medical history with revolutionary new surgery on organ donor
Queensland Minister for Health announces success of e-Health clinician usability study at Robina Hospital
California's El Camino Hospital funds electronic health records system for affiliated physicians
 
Virtual snap shots
 
European Health Forum Gastein: the source of ideas for European Union health policy
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt unites magnetic resonance and radar technology in one prototype
Best support for cognitive disorders: 50 million informal caregivers
Research shows rehabilitation benefits of using Nintendo Wii
Ericsson joins new United Nations initiative to bring digital-health benefits to Africa
 
VMWC news bites
 
Researcher on virtual patient simulator wins international computing prize
Virtual colonoscopy as good as other colon cancer screening methods
Researchers develop nano-sized 'cargo ships' to target and destroy tumours
Robotic surgery lowers risk of a rare but serious complication of gastric bypass
From Xbox to T-cells: Michigan Tech researchers borrow video game technology to model human biology
 

Leads October 2008 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
As personalized, genomic medicine takes off, four developing countries show the way for others
Full ArticleDeveloping countries that want the benefits of cutting-edge health care possibilities based on the genetic variation of individual citizens and sub-populations need to foster the new science at home, according to a major new Canadian study published by Nature Publishing Group. In a special six-paper supplement of the journal Nature Reviews Genetics (NRG), researchers from the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health (MRC), Toronto, claim that four countries with emerging economies - Mexico, India, Thailand and South Africa - are showing the way for others in similar economic circumstances.
Prosthetic vein valve designed to direct blood flow shows promising pre-clinical results
Full ArticleEngineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a prosthetic vein valve to help improve the lives of those suffering from a condition known as chronic venous insufficiency. The condition, which affects more than seven million people in the United States alone, occurs when valves in a person's veins can no longer ensure a one-way flow of blood back to the heart.
Project aims to reduce complications and multiple surgeries with biodegradable implantable devices
Full ArticleDozens of engineers and doctors from universities and industries around the world will collaborate on a five-year, $18,5 million project to develop implantable devices made from biodegradable metals. The devices will be designed to adapt to physical changes in a patient's body and dissolve once they have healed. Naturally dissolving plates, screws, stents, and other devices would reduce the follow-up surgeries and potential complications of major orthopaedic, cranio-facial, and cardiovascular procedures - sparing millions of patients worldwide added pain and medical expenses.
Coming soon: self-guided, computer-based depression treatment
Full ArticleSelf-guided treatment for depression could soon be only a mouse click away. Scientists with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) are developing an interactive, multi-media programme that will assist astronauts in recognizing and effectively managing depression and other psychosocial problems, which can pose a substantial threat to crew safety and mission operations during long-duration spaceflights. Even though the depression treatment is under development for NASA, project leader Dr. James Cartreine said it could be spun off for use on Earth.
Taking the next step toward advanced artificial limbs
Full ArticleA team of researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will receive $1 million in federal and state grants to advance the critical development of neuro-prosthetics next-generation artificial limbs that could one day be permanently implanted and perform most of the movements and functions of natural limbs. The majority of the funding comes through a two-year $860.000 grant awarded to WPI's Bioengineering Institute (BEI) by the United States Army's Military Amputee Research Programme of the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC).
 
Grid for Health
 
Fatal protein interactions may explain neurological diseases
Full ArticleIn a collaborative study at the University of California, San Diego, investigators from neurosciences, chemistry and medicine, as well as the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) have investigated how proteins involved in neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease interact to form unique complexes. Their findings explain why Alzheimer's patients might develop Parkinson's, and vice versa. The new and unique molecular structures they discovered can now be used to model and develop new drugs for these devastating neurological diseases. Their findings are published in the September 3 issue of Public Library of Science (PLoS) ONE on September 4, 2008.
Interfaith Medical Center deploys VMware infrastructure as platform for Windows applications
Full ArticleInterfaith Medical Center (IMC), a New York City hospital, has created a virtualized application environment with VMware Infrastructure - the industry-leading data centre virtualization and management suite to ensure manageability, high availability and rapid disaster recovery for the hospital's Microsoft Windows-based applications.
Novel drug discovery leverages SIMDAT Grid technology
Full ArticleWithin the European SIMDAT project, at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a substantial progress in pharmaceutical analysis has been achieved. It enables pharmaceutical companies to virtualise and globalise their research and development (R&D) chain, lowering costs as well as considerably improving knowledge exchange between industrial and academic partners.
Grids are more than just an infrastructure
Full ArticleEnabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE) has held its 5th annual conference in Istanbul and it is the breadth of research areas using EGEE that keeps the collaboration vibrant. At each meeting more and more new work is unveiled and this year was no different, with researchers from 50 countries around the world highlighting their latest research in the conference's demonstrations and poster sessions.
Northwest Radiology Network implements new enterprise solution to dramatically improve medical records management
Full ArticleNorthwest Radiology Network has gone live with a new virtualized enterprise of IBM servers and storage to support its growing medical imaging needs, giving its four locations an enterprise-class infrastructure which enables its doctors to recover medical image reports faster for analysis and enables remote 24x7 access to its medical image report system.
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Mobile health initiative expands to over twenty countries in Africa
Full ArticleThe United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Foundation's Technology Partnership have expanded their mobile health - mHealth - programme in Africa. Working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the non-profit DataDyne.org, the Technology Partnership will expand the use of EpiSurveyor, an open-source application that helps health care workers track health data, to 22 sub-Saharan countries by the end of 2008.
AllOne Mobile to provide access to Microsoft HealthVault using mobile phones
Full ArticleAllOne Health will connect Microsoft HealthVault with AllOne Mobile, a secure mobile phone application that allows individuals to access important personal health information using their mobile phones. Provided by AllOne Health and secured by Diversinet Corporation, AllOne Mobile is an application that uses mobile phones to integrate data that users collect from a broad network of sources and save in their HealthVault accounts.
Honeywell's remote monitoring solutions help reduce rehospitalizations and duration of hospital stays for patients
Full ArticleHoneywell HomMed LifeStream Remote Patient Care System has been selected by Carolinas HealthCare System for its new network-wide telemonitoring programme. As part of its implementation of the LifeStream System, Carolinas HealthCare System purchased 360 Genesis DM Telehealth Monitors for the programme, running across six counties, which aims to improve patient outcomes, reduce rehospitalizations and decrease the duration of hospital stays for patients.
Better health through your cell phone
Full ArticleIn many Third World and developing countries, the distance between people in need of health care and the facilities capable of providing it constitutes a major obstacle to improving health. One solution involves creating medical diagnostic applications small enough to fit into objects already in common use, such as cell phones - in effect, bringing the hospital to the patient.
Research project on computer-assisted diabetes risk management started
Full ArticleOptimal treatment of diabetes is very difficult to achieve. The obstacles to overcome are varied: expensive treatments, poor patient adherence to treatment plans, insufficient data, etc. With these challenges in mind, a new research project titled "Computer-assisted Diabetes Risk Management" (CDRM) was put in place to examine how eHealth solutions can improve diabetes care.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
Grameen Health to establish independent collaborations with Pfizer, GE Healthcare, and Mayo Clinic to create sustainable health care delivery models for the developing world
Full ArticleGrameen Health, an affiliate of Grameen Bank, the pioneering micro-financing organisation in Bangladesh that shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for its work to alleviate poverty, will establish independent partnerships with Pfizer Inc., GE Healthcare, and Mayo Clinic to create sustainable models for health care delivery in the developing world. Grameen Health has chosen to work independently with these partners because of their respective expertise: Pfizer Inc. is a research-based pharmaceutical company, GE Healthcare is a manufacturer of medical devices such as ultrasound and CT/MRI, and Mayo Clinic is an integrated, not-for-profit group practice.
eHealth terminal from SCM Microsystems approved for German eHealth card programme
Full ArticleSCM Microsystems Inc.'s eHealth200 BCS terminal has been approved by the gematik - the German health care organisation overseeing the implementation of Germany's eHealth card programme - based on the release certificate of the German Federal Office for Information Security BSI (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnologie) and the confirmation of required electrical and physical product features by the TUViT (TUV Informationstechnik GmbH), a German inspection agency for IT Products and Services.
Scientists at IBM and Genome Institute of Singapore make new stem cell discovery
Full ArticleA team of scientists at IBM and the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) have discovered that microRNAs - small molecules that are an important regulatory component in the machinery of living cells - actually regulate the differentiation of stem cells and have roles that go way beyond what was previously thought. The work uncovers new ways by which microRNAs regulate how genes are made and could provide alternative explanations for some observations that biologists have made in recent years.
Mid Rogue eHealth Services now offers electronic prescribing
Full ArticleMid Rogue eHealth Services is a regional electronic medical record vendor that now offers electronic prescribing software to Oregon physicians. Beginning January 2009, the federal government approved a 2 percent rate increase for physicians who use electronic prescribing to submit prescriptions to pharmacies. Electronically submitted prescriptions will reduce errors, improve patient safety, and reduce costs to the government for people enrolled in Medicare. The government intends to share those cost savings with providers that adopt electronic prescribing. Physicians that wish to take advantage of the enhanced revenues need to implement electronic prescribing software in their clinics.
Charlotte endocrinologist improving diabetic patient care with preventive vision loss technology
Full ArticleCarolina Diabetes and Endocrine Clinic, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has selected the Retasure solution to provide retinal imaging risk assessment. Retasure, a telemedicine solution developed by Digital Healthcare, a Wake Forest, North Carolina company specializing in risk assessment for diabetics, can detect early damage to the retina caused by diabetes, glaucoma and other conditions.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Optical sensors make MRI scans safer
Full ArticleMagnetic resonance scans will be safer for children and other patients needing anaesthesia, thanks to new kinds of optical sensors developed by a team of European researchers. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful, non-invasive way of obtaining detailed internal images of the human body. Unlike x-rays, MRI does not use ionising radiation but probes the inside of the body with strong magnetic fields. It has become an indispensable aid to diagnosis and treatment.
Disposable 'lab-on-a-chip' may save costs and lives
Full ArticleLow-cost, disposable cartridges that would let doctors perform diagnostic tests at the point-of-care could speed up diagnosis and treatment while lowering costs. European researchers are rapidly closing in on that goal. Researchers in the European Surface Enhanced Micro Optical Fluidic Systems (SEMOFS) team knew that, to reach their goal of disposable cartridges capable of performing complex medical diagnostic tests quickly and at low cost, they would have to push existing technology to the limit.
LEO Pharma unveils major breakthrough in psoriasis management
Full ArticleAt the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Conference in Paris LEO Pharma has unveiled a new weapon in its long-running campaign to improve psoriasis management and treatment outcomes. However, the weapon is not a new drug but a ground-breaking computer-modelling tool, designed to help those involved in the assessment, planning and provision of psoriasis treatment in primary care to balance optimum outcomes with the growing need for cost control.
Smart alarm clock for mobile phones
Full ArticleSleep disorders are very common in modern society. Mild forms are familiar to everyone and up to 10-20 percent of adults suffer from related diseases, called organic sleep disorders. Diagnosing sleep disorders often requires extensive and expensive sleep recording at a sleep laboratory. At the moment, there are hardly any good screening methods for detecting sleep disorders. Research conducted in two Finnish universities, Tampere University of Technology and the University of Helsinki, resulted in the development of a brand-new technology for screening and even diagnosing sleep disorders. The first application of the new technology, a smart alarm clock for mobile phones, HappyWakeUp, is now available. It is the first health-promoting mobile phone application in the world.
New tool for early diagnosis of breast cancer
Full ArticleScientists from Finland, Germany and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) have developed a new X-ray technique for the early detection of breast cancer. This allows 3D visualization of the breast with a high spatial resolution and is extremely sensitive to alterations in the tissue, such as those generated by cancer. This technique could be used in the next years in hospitals. It may help doctors to detect tumours with greater precision than is possible using current X-ray mammography.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
EDAP installs first Ablatherm robotic HIFU device in The Netherlands continuing European expansion
Full ArticleEDAP TMS SA, a global expert in therapeutic ultrasound, has launched initial high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) services at Amphia Hospital, in Breda, the first Ablatherm robotic HIFU treatment centre in The Netherlands. Amphia Ziekenhuis is the first hospital of the country equipped with Ablatherm and treatments have successfully started in August 2008. Ablatherm is now available in 23 countries worldwide in 192 treatment centres and 16750 treatments performed as of the end of August 2008.
Minimally-invasive aortic valve bypass benefits high-risk elderly patients
Full ArticleAn uncommonly used surgical procedure that bypasses a narrowed aortic valve, rather than replacing it, effectively restores blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body and gives high-risk patients a safe alternative to conventional valve surgery. That is the finding of a study conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. The researchers concluded that the procedure, called aortic valve bypass, is an important treatment option for high-risk elderly patients with a narrowed aortic valve, a condition called aortic stenosis.
North Shore University Hospital makes medical history with revolutionary new surgery on organ donor
Full ArticleFor the first time in medical history, the transplant surgical team at North Shore University Hospital has removed the kidney of a donor through a single incision just above the pubic bone.
Queensland Minister for Health announces success of e-Health clinician usability study at Robina Hospital
Full ArticleThe Queensland Minister for Health, Stephen Robertson, enthusiastically welcomed the early study results of the C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA), developed by Motion Computing, specialized in mobile computing and wireless communications, at Robina Hospital. In addition to improvements in delivery and quality of care and staff productivity, Stephen Robertson estimated a 30 to 60 minute time savings per clinician per day because doctors don't have to walk away from patients to record or access data.
California's El Camino Hospital funds electronic health records system for affiliated physicians
Full ArticleEl Camino Hospital of Mountain View, California, is financially supporting an electronic health records initiative for its affiliated physicians, the Independent Physicians of El Camino Hospital (IPECH). The group selected eClinicalWorks unified electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management (PM) software for its members, which will interface with the hospital. Practices in the co-operative will also have access to eClinicalWorks Enterprise Business Optimizer (eBO) for enhanced reporting capabilities, and eClinicalWorks Electronic Health eXchange (eEHX) community health record to engage IPECH physicians and their patients in more effective medical management.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
European Health Forum Gastein: the source of ideas for European Union health policy
Full ArticleIn the past decade the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) has developed into an indispensable institution in the scope of European health policy. Held for the first time in 1998, since then it has made a decisive contribution to the development of guidelines and above all the cross-border exchange of experience and use of synergies. Furthermore, at the EHFG numerous initiatives and future areas of focus in European Union health policy are presented for the first time to an audience of experts. This year, for example, the two holders of the Euroepan Union Council Presidency in 2009, the Czech Republic and Sweden, will present the priorities of their health policy activities during their presidency.
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt unites magnetic resonance and radar technology in one prototype
Full ArticleDon't move a muscle. Patients certainly have to take this request to heart if they have to lie in a magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) device - otherwise movement artefacts result on the images produced by the MRT. These are distorting elements in the image which show the movement of the body, but not the body itself. Movement is a disturbing factor which leads to blurring and "ghosting" in the MRT image.
Best support for cognitive disorders: 50 million informal caregivers
Full ArticleThe future of the US economy will, to a large degree, depend on a good solution for the largest problem: the runaway cost of healthcare. One of the worst problems in the healthcare segment are the brain, mind and neurological disorder based illnesses. The veterans returning from Iraq, 1.6 million served so far, have developed PTSD (300,000 cases) and depression (another 300,000 cases)
Research shows rehabilitation benefits of using Nintendo Wii
Full ArticleA University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) case study focused on use of the Nintendo Wii for rehabilitation of a teen with cerebral palsy is believed to be the first published research showing the physical therapy benefits resulting from use of the wildly popular gaming system. "Use of a Low-Cost, Commercially Available Gaming Console (Wii) for Rehabilitation of an Adolescent with Cerebral Palsy", an article reporting the case study results, will be published in the October print issue of the American Physical Therapy Association's journal Physical Therapy.
Ericsson joins new United Nations initiative to bring digital-health benefits to Africa
Full ArticleEricsson is joining forces with the United Nations Office for Partnerships to use telecommunications to bring mobile-health applications and services (m-health) and telemedicine to rural Africa. As a founding member of the United Nations's Digital Health Initiative, Ericsson is taking another step in its ongoing commitment to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which aim to reduce global extreme poverty.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Researcher on virtual patient simulator wins international computing prize
Full ArticleA pioneer in computational medical image analysis has won one of the largest international prizes in science, the Royal Society and Académie des Sciences Microsoft Award. Professor Nicholas Ayache, a Research Director at INRIA, the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control, has won the 250.000 euro award, funded by Microsoft. The award will fund Professor Ayache's proposal to allow clinicians to develop individual, patient-tailored 3D models of heart disease, brain tumours and other conditions.
Virtual colonoscopy as good as other colon cancer screening methods
Full ArticleCT colonography (CTC), known as virtual colonoscopy, is as accurate at screening for colorectal cancers and pre-cancerous polyps as conventional colonoscopy, the current screening standard, according to the National CT Colonography Trial, a nationwide multi-centre study that included the San Francisco VA Medical Center.
Researchers develop nano-sized 'cargo ships' to target and destroy tumours
Full ArticleScientists have developed nanometer-sized "cargo ships" that can sail throughout the body via the bloodstream without immediate detection from the body's immune radar system and ferry their cargo of anti-cancer drugs and markers into tumours that might otherwise go untreated or undetected. In a forthcoming issue of the Germany-based chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, scientists at UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and MIT report that their nano-cargo-ship system integrates therapeutic and diagnostic functions into a single device that avoids rapid removal by the body's natural immune system.
Robotic surgery lowers risk of a rare but serious complication of gastric bypass
Full ArticleThe use of a robot to assist with the most commonly performed weight-loss surgery appears to significantly lower a patient's risk of developing a rare but serious complication, according to a study published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Robotic Surgery. Minimally-invasive surgeons at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston statistically analysed operative times, length of hospital stay and complications in 605 patients who either underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or the same procedure with the assistance of a robot at Memorial Hermann - Texas Medical Center (TMC).
From Xbox to T-cells: Michigan Tech researchers borrow video game technology to model human biology
Full ArticleA team of researchers at Michigan Technological University is harnessing the computing muscle behind the leading video games to understand the most intricate of real-life systems. Led by Roshan D'Souza, the group has supercharged agent-based modelling, a powerful but computationally massive forecasting technique, by using graphic processing units (GPUs), which drive the spectacular imagery beloved of video gamers. In particular, the team aims to model complex biological systems, such as the human immune response to a tuberculosis bacterium (TB).
 

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