VMW Monthly - April 2009 - 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.

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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 April 2009 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
University of Houston research team developing new non-invasive brain-mapping technology
Telemedicine answers health care challenges: Policy brief outlines recommendations for expanding telemedicine
Optical techniques show continued promise in detecting pancreatic cancer
Researchers develop a structural approach to exploring DNA
Covering the bases: Quantum effect may hold promise for low-cost DNA sequencing, sensor applications
 
Grid for Health
 
RightScale's new education programme promotes research and innovation through Cloud computing
IBM World Community Grid to search for cure for childhood cancer
International SOS improves back-ups with ExaGrid Systems
Worldwide Grid helps in the fight against heart disease
Computer superpower strengthens attempts to combat common diseases
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Qualcomm and telcos implement wireless health care with 3G technology in Africa
Critical health services delivered to U.S. Military: Soldiers go mobile using Clickatell SMS through AllOne Mobile
Bulgaria opts for eHealth technology
Sorin Group and Orange Business Services to develop remonte monitoring solution for cardiac patients
InfoLogix implements wireless multi-site medical communications solution for Sisters of Mercy Health System
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
Civco and Ascension partner to offer 3D guidance of needles
HP and Partners HealthCare extend collaboration in support of personalized medicine
Immersion delivers first-ever haptic medical simulation for new lung cancer diagnostic procedure
GE Healthcare to implement Centricity in Canada and sign partnership for health care technology development in Qatar
Heraeus Kulzer licenses acclaimed tooth library to SensAble to advance digital dental restorations
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Paving the way to increase European Union support for innovation in surgery
Patient-specific simulation to improve understanding of cerebral aneurysms
Remote tool will transform care of children with breathing problems
Brain on a chip?
Home Telehealth Limited wins second National Award with its innovative nurse-led Telehealth Care Centre
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Providence Alaska Medical Center expands critical care access to reduce costs, and improve patient outcomes with remote monitoring technology from Philips VISICU
IBM helps deliver smarter health care with web-based 'Radiology Theatre'
IBM and Danish Hospital pioneer smarter patient records to improve patient care
Radiotherapy Clinic at Munich-Bogenhausen Hospital begins treating patients
Rochester RHIO goes live with eHealthConnect Image Exchange to automate community-wide access of radiology studies
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Measuring the impact of electronic medical records
Project launched by VTT develops computer models for predicting dietary effects on health
Penn research team tests bedside monitoring of brain blood flow and metabolism in stroke victims
Peer-to-peer heart monitoring: Spreading the computational load to monitor heart patients remotely
Joint Commission Resources, NBC Digital Health Network and MCN Healthcare announce a new partnership for the distribution of education to drive hospital safety and quality
 
VMWC news bites
 
Titan Medical Inc. and Bell Canada complete telesurgery tests over unprecedented distance
The navel: A single, safe surgical access route for kidney extraction
Assembling cells into artificial 3D microtissues, including a tiny gland
Fox Chase performs the world's first successful ViKY robot-assisted surgery for pancreatic tumours
GoOn Research and Development project wins Theseus-Mittelstand
 

Leads April 2009 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
University of Houston research team developing new non-invasive brain-mapping technology
Full ArticleTwo Japanese scientists will arrive at the University of Houston (UH) next month to help develop a unique brain-mapping device that promises to deliver more comprehensive and accurate insights into the mind at a fraction of the cost of current technologies. In April, Mikio Kubota of Seijo University and Mayako Inouchi of Waseda University will join the research team at UH's Biomedical Imaging Lab. There they will work as visiting faculty members with lab director George Zouridakis in expanding a non-invasive technology that may offer a more thorough understanding of brain activities and help diagnose traumatic brain injuries in emergency rooms and on the battlefield.
Telemedicine answers health care challenges: Policy brief outlines recommendations for expanding telemedicine
Full ArticleCalifornia's unsettled economic situation is challenging the health care system to consider new initiatives that will improve access in a cost-effective way, and telemedicine is positioned to meet those challenges.
Optical techniques show continued promise in detecting pancreatic cancer
Full ArticleOptical technology developed by a Northwestern University professor of biomedical engineering has been shown to be effective in detecting the presence of pancreatic cancer through analysis of neighbouring tissue in the duodenum, according to clinical trial results published in the journal Disease Markers. The promising new technology - which researchers hope could help raise the extremely low survival rate of pancreatic cancer patients by aiding early detection - uses novel light-scattering techniques to analyse extremely subtle changes in the cells of the duodenum, part of the small intestine neighbouring the pancreas. The cells are obtained through a minimally invasive endoscopy.
Researchers develop a structural approach to exploring DNA
Full ArticleA team led by researchers from Boston University and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has developed a new method for uncovering functional areas of the human genome by studying DNA's three-dimensional structure - a topographical approach that extends the more familiar analysis of the sequence of the four-letter alphabet of the DNA bases. Unlike the well-understood genomic sequences that code for proteins and comprise about two percent of the human genome, the remaining 98 percent is the non-coding portion, which encodes many functions. However, little is known about how this functional non-coding information is specified.
Covering the bases: Quantum effect may hold promise for low-cost DNA sequencing, sensor applications
Full ArticleA ghostly property of matter, called quantum tunneling, may aid the quest for accurate, low-cost genomic sequencing, according to a new paper in Nature Nanotechnology Letters by Stuart Lindsay and his collaborators at the Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University (ASU). Tunneling permits a particle like an electron to cross a barrier when, according to classical physics, it does not have enough energy to do so.
 
Grid for Health
 
RightScale's new education programme promotes research and innovation through Cloud computing
Full ArticleRightScale Inc., an expert in Cloud computing management, has launched the RightScale Education Programme, a new programme that provides qualified educational institutions with the RightScale Cloud Management Platform free of charge to foster research and innovation. With RightScale's platform and services, any university or educational laboratory can now tap the enormous power of Cloud computing for a virtually infinite, cost-effective, pay-as-you-go IT infrastructure.
IBM World Community Grid to search for cure for childhood cancer
Full ArticleIBM and researchers from the Chiba Cancer Center Research Institute and Chiba University in Japan are launching a new World Community Grid project to discover a drug treatment for neuroblastoma, the most common cause of death in children with solid tumours. Cancer is a leading cause of death in children. The cause of neuroblastoma is unknown, but most physicians believe that it is an accidental cell growth that occurs during normal development of the sympathetic ganglia and adrenal glands. It occurs most often the first two years of a child's life, and has a high risk for disease relapse with survival rates less than 40 percent.
International SOS improves back-ups with ExaGrid Systems
Full ArticleInternational SOS UK has chosen the ExaGrid system to achieve faster back-ups and restores, and remove the hassles associated with tape back-up. International SOS UK is the local arm of the world's major provider of medical assistance, international health care, security services and outsourced customer care. It had been experiencing issues with its nightly tape back-ups. With long back-up and restore times and tape management issues causing problems on a daily basis, the staff decided to look for an alternative solution.
Worldwide Grid helps in the fight against heart disease
Full ArticleThe latest work on the genetic causes of one of the world's biggest killers, coronary artery disease, will be published in the March 2009 issue of Nature Genetics. The research done by teams from the Cardiogenics consortium used the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE) infrastructure. EGEE manages the world's largest multi-disciplinary computing Grid and enabled the researchers to do two years' work in fewer than 45 days. This allowed them to identify possible genetic candidates for the causes of a disease which kills over two million people a year in Europe alone.
Computer superpower strengthens attempts to combat common diseases
Full ArticleNew large-scale sequencing technology will revolutionize biomedical research in the coming decade. Uppsala University's entity UPPMAX is now expanding its operations and providing researchers with a powerful system for large-scale compute and storage of data, which can lead to new breakthroughs in research on our public health disorders.
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Qualcomm and telcos implement wireless health care with 3G technology in Africa
Full ArticleQualcomm has again empowered rural communities in Africa in the area of health care, through the use of its 3G wireless technologies initiative that was launched in 2005. Qualcomm, in collaboration with the Provincial Medical Office of Nairobi, Communications Commission of Kenya, Telkom Kenya, Axesstel, and RTI International, is planning to implement a wireless health care project in Kenya that will improve HIV/AIDS treatment at the Kasarani Health Centre in Nairobi. The project harnesses the benefits of advanced 3G wireless event technology to make the supply of antiretroviral medicines (ARVs) more efficient.
Critical health services delivered to U.S. Military: Soldiers go mobile using Clickatell SMS through AllOne Mobile
Full ArticleClickatell, a global mobile messaging provider, is working together with AllOne Health to provide real time SMS communications for United States Military in need of care and services from their health care provider. As soldiers return home with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and other significant injuries, the United States Military is providing a pilot mobile health outreach programme to help speed recovery and track progress through AllOne Mobile, a wireless application that manages personal health information and is secured by Diversinet Corporation.
Bulgaria opts for eHealth technology
Full ArticleBulgarian Minister of Health Dr. Evgenii Zhelev, MD and Minister for State Administration and Administrative Reform Nikolay Vassilev have issued the country's first personal health records. The "Electronic Personal Ambulatory Book" was developed by eHealth specialist InterComponentWare (ICW) and Kontrax, a Bulgarian provider for medical practice management systems. The new solution will serve the same function as the paper-based personal ambulatory books of 40.000 state employees that were used up to now to keep track of their medical appointments.
Sorin Group and Orange Business Services to develop remonte monitoring solution for cardiac patients
Full ArticleSorin Group, a global medical device company and an expert in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, and Orange Business Services, a global communications solutions integrator, have signed an agreement to develop and service a remote monitoring solution for patients implanted with cardiac rhythm management (CRM) devices.
InfoLogix implements wireless multi-site medical communications solution for Sisters of Mercy Health System
Full ArticleA hospital's worst nightmare is having its communications system go down. But thanks to the mobile assessment and guidance provided by InfoLogix Inc., Sisters of Mercy Health System has rolled out one of America's largest and most reliable wireless IP-DECT communications systems. Using more than 200 handsets across three campuses, doctors, nurses and, most importantly, patients at Mercy hospitals now benefit from more robust communications that enable faster response times to patient needs and a higher quality of care.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
Civco and Ascension partner to offer 3D guidance of needles
Full ArticleCivco Medical Solutions and Ascension Technology Corporation have launched a new biopsy needle localization and guidance system for minimally invasive medical procedures. When integrated with 3D ultrasound visualization tools it enables accurate, percutaneous targeting to lesions without radiation or open surgery.
HP and Partners HealthCare extend collaboration in support of personalized medicine
Full ArticleHP and Partners HealthCare have extended a successful five-year, multi-million dollar agreement to develop software and implement hardware and services supporting Partners' efforts to accelerate clinical genomics and advance personalized medicine. This phase of the collaboration focuses on extending Partners' technology infrastructure, especially data storage capabilities, to address the challenges posed by next-generation sequencing technologies. The increase in genetic and genomic data output from these sequencing technologies will require a cost-effective, high-performance computing storage environment.
Immersion delivers first-ever haptic medical simulation for new lung cancer diagnostic procedure
Full ArticleImmersion Corporation, a developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, has introduced a new way to accurately and efficiently train pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons on a breakthrough emerging procedure for diagnosing and staging lung cancer. The maker of the industry's only haptic-enabled bronchoscopy simulator delivered a new module, Endobronchial Ultrasound with Transbronchial Needle Aspiration (EBUS-TBNA). It provides realistic multi-modal (sight, sound, and touch) virtual reality training for this difficult but highly accurate procedure that diagnoses and stages lung cancer, the cause of the most cancer deaths worldwide. It is the first and only haptic-enabled endoscopy simulator designed for EBUS-TBNA.
GE Healthcare to implement Centricity in Canada and sign partnership for health care technology development in Qatar
Full ArticleGE Healthcare, a provider of information technology, has successfully implemented a Digital Imaging Repository (DI-r) that connects hospitals and medical centres throughout Southwestern Ontario (SWO) Canada. By providing clinicians a longitudinal patient view through GE's Centricity OneView, the project aligns with the Canada Health Infoway (CHI) and eHealth Ontario initiatives to create a pan-Province and, eventually, pan-Canadian Electronic Health Record (EHR). In addition, General Electric Company and Qatar Foundation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create a partnership covering a range of health care business and research initiatives. Building on GE's strong existing partnership with Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), Qatar Foundation's research accelerator, the parties plan to develop and deliver next-generation health care technologies and build local research and development capabilities aligned with regional and global health care needs.
Heraeus Kulzer licenses acclaimed tooth library to SensAble to advance digital dental restorations
Full ArticleSensAble Technologies Inc., a provider of haptic devices and touch-enabled modelling solutions, and Heraeus Kulzer GmbH of Hanau Germany, provider of aesthetic dental solutions, have integrated the digital tooth library of Heraeus' most popular premium denture teeth into version 2 of the SensAble Dental Lab System (SDLS). SensAble's system is an integrated CAD/CAM solution to scan, design and produce a wide variety of dental restorations that is available worldwide.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Paving the way to increase European Union support for innovation in surgery
Full ArticleLife expectancy in Europe has considerably increased in the last few decades. At the same time, health related risks such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, obesity and diabetes are also escalating and have already become one of the main concerns for public health in the European Union. For most non-transmittable conditions, surgery remains an indispensable remedy and yet, little recognition has been given in terms of support for research and development. More needs to be done.
Patient-specific simulation to improve understanding of cerebral aneurysms
Full ArticleANSYS Inc., a global innovator of simulation software and technologies designed to optimize product development processes, together with the @neurIST project has completed a major milestone toward its goal of helping clinicians understand and manage cerebral aneurysms. The project teamed with ANSYS to incorporate high-end engineering simulation, which is being increasingly used in the fields of biomedicine and health care.
Remote tool will transform care of children with breathing problems
Full ArticleA non-invasive instrument to monitor the breathing of very young children with respiratory problems is being developed by researchers at the University of the West of England (UWE), in partnership with Bristol University and consultants at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust's Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and Frenchay Hospital. This is a multi-disciplinary research project which will involve clinicians and patients at the early stages of development, to ensure that the instrument meets end-user requirements.
Brain on a chip?
Full ArticleHow does the human brain run itself without any software? Find that out, say European researchers, and a whole new field of neural computing will open up. A prototype "brain on a chip" is already working.
Home Telehealth Limited wins second National Award with its innovative nurse-led Telehealth Care Centre
Full ArticleThe Annual MediLink UK Innovation Awards were held at the Haberdashers Hall in London on the 16th March, in the presence of over 100 senior sector representatives. The Awards celebrate the achievements of the UK health technology sectors and provide recognition of the achievements of those companies who have excelled. "The NHS Innovations Partnership with the NHS Award", for collaboration with the National Health Service (NHS) that resulted in both improved business performance and benefited patient care through innovation was awarded to Home Telehealth Limited.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Providence Alaska Medical Center expands critical care access to reduce costs, and improve patient outcomes with remote monitoring technology from Philips VISICU
Full ArticleProvidence Alaska Medical Center has implemented a new programme to enhance care of the critically ill in remote communities of Alaska. The eICU Programme, patented by Philips VISICU, combines early warning alerts and remote monitoring technology to connect off-site critical care specialists to ICU patients and their care teams within the medical centre. Providence plans to offer the programme to surrounding hospitals, as a supplement to local care, in order to reduce unnecessary complications, transfers and patient length of stay.
IBM helps deliver smarter health care with web-based 'Radiology Theatre'
Full ArticleIBM is working with Brigham and Women's Hospital of Boston on a research project to create an on-line "Radiology Theatre" where teams of medical experts can simultaneously discuss and review patients' medical test data using a web browser. IBM has created a secure website that allows select medical experts at Brigham and Women's Hospital to "make rounds" on a patient - no matter where the doctors are located. Data such as CT scans, MRIs, EKGs and other medical tests can be posted on the website and analysed by the team. Each medical expert can talk and be seen through live streaming audio/video through their standard web connection, and have the ability to whiteboard over the web page as well as input information to the patient's record.
IBM and Danish Hospital pioneer smarter patient records to improve patient care
Full ArticleAn IBM technology innovation for intelligent electronic patient records, using a 3D model of the human body has proved both practical and valuable in a first test at a Danish Hospital. Using an "avatar" or map of the human body, medical staff at the Thy-Mors Hospital are now able to obtain an up-to-date overview of each patient's record at a glance.
Radiotherapy Clinic at Munich-Bogenhausen Hospital begins treating patients
Full ArticleRadiotherapy Clinic Dr. Häussler/Dr. Schorer at Munich-Bogenhausen Hospital has officially been inaugurated. The centre is the first in Germany to use the new Novalis Tx platform from Varian Medical Systems and BrainLAB, and offers patients with cancer and certain neurological indications an advanced form of non-invasive surgery.
Rochester RHIO goes live with eHealthConnect Image Exchange to automate community-wide access of radiology studies
Full ArticleRochester RHIO, the area's regional health information organisation, implemented eHealth Global Technologies' (eHGT) eHealthConnect Image Exchange service to automate access to patient images across the participating health care institutions. The service integrates with Rochester RHIO's Axolotl Corporation's Elysium health information exchange (HIE) system and connects to the PACS imaging services at eight radiology providers. Lakeside Memorial Hospital is the first health provider integrated into the eHealthConnect Image Exchange.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Measuring the impact of electronic medical records
Full ArticleThe push is on to bring the United States health care system into the digital age by replacing paper-based systems now used at many medical facilities with electronic medical records systems and other information technology (IT) tools. To understand how best to realize the benefits these systems can provide, a team of experts at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has launched a three-year study of health information technology (HIT) systems now in various stages of implementation at four medical organisations - two in the United States and one each in Canada and Israel.
Project launched by VTT develops computer models for predicting dietary effects on health
Full ArticleVTT Technical Research Center of Finland is launching an extensive European Union (EU) project called ETHERPATHS, studying the effects of dietary effects mediated by gut microbiota on lipid metabolism. The aim is to accelerate the development of health-promoting foods. The project develops computer-assisted models with which food companies and research institutions, for instance, will be able to predict the effects of foods in the body.
Penn research team tests bedside monitoring of brain blood flow and metabolism in stroke victims
Full ArticleA University of Pennsylvania team has completed the first successful demonstration of a non-invasive optical device to monitor cerebral blood flow in patients with acute stroke, a leading cause of disability and death. The ultimate goal of this research is to improve the management of patients with stroke and other brain disorders by providing continuous bedside monitoring of brain blood flow and metabolism.
Peer-to-peer heart monitoring: Spreading the computational load to monitor heart patients remotely
Full ArticleThe possibility of remote monitoring for chronically ill patients will soon become a reality. Now, researchers in South Africa and Australia have devised a decentralized system to avoid medical data overload. They describe the peer-to-peer system in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology.
Joint Commission Resources, NBC Digital Health Network and MCN Healthcare announce a new partnership for the distribution of education to drive hospital safety and quality
Full ArticleJoint Commission Resources (JCR), NBC Digital Health Network and MCN Healthcare (MCN) have signed a new partnership for the distribution of a continuing education series to help hospitals keep up with The Joint Commission's standards and National Patient Safety Goals. The ultimate goal of the series is to provide readily accessible information which hospitals can use in creating a culture of quality and patient safety by focusing on continuous improvement.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Titan Medical Inc. and Bell Canada complete telesurgery tests over unprecedented distance
Full ArticleTitan Medical Inc. and Bell Canada have successfully completed telesurgery tests using Titan Medical's Phase B Amadeus, a next generation robotic surgical system. During a one-week testing period, the tests were done over an unprecedented long distance spanning roundtrip from Toronto to Vancouver, Canada. The total communications distance was approximately 7000 km.
The navel: A single, safe surgical access route for kidney extraction
Full ArticleSuccessful surgery that leaves no scars has become the main objective of the most daring and innovative surgeons. Since conventional open surgery gave way to laparoscopy-assisted surgery, which requires 3, 4 or even 5 incisions, surgeons operating on the pelvic and abdominal cavity, together with experts in robotics, are investigating new ways of entering the body to explore structures, diagnose diseases and extract organs. Hospital Clínic, Barcelona is committed to minimally invasive surgery, particularly as the navel has now been shown to be a safe and effective single access route for extracting kidneys. The operation - the first of its kind to be performed in Spain - was carried out by the team of Dr. Alcaraz of the Hospital Clínic urology department on 17 February on an 85-year-old woman who had been diagnosed with cancer. Three days after the operation, the woman was discharged home with no symptoms.
Assembling cells into artificial 3D microtissues, including a tiny gland
Full ArticleAs synthetic biologists cram more and more genes into microbes to make genetically engineered organisms produce ever more complex drugs and chemicals, two University of California (UC) chemists have gone a step further. They have assembled different types of genetically engineered cells into synthetic microtissues that can perform functions such as secreting and responding to hormones, promising more complex biological capabilities than a single cell alone could produce.
Fox Chase performs the world's first successful ViKY robot-assisted surgery for pancreatic tumours
Full ArticleFox Chase Cancer Center has performed the world's first successful minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy using the ViKY system's revolutionary robotic, compact laparoscope holder. The technology, developed in France and tested on thousands of patients in Europe, made its debut in a cancer setting in the United States at Fox Chase.
GoOn Research and Development project wins Theseus-Mittelstand
Full ArticleThe consortium formed between Transinsight, RESprotect, Antikörper-Online, and the Bioinformatics group of Professor Dr. Michael Schroeder at the Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden), has won the Theseus-Mittelstand for the R&D project GoOn. Over the next two years, the project "based on the results of Theseus One" will develop praxis-relevant semantic technologies for information handling in the biomedical domain.
 

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