VMW Monthly - July 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 2009 in Hamburg ***

VMW's sister magazine Primeur went live "at a distance" from the recent ISC 2009 Conference in Hamburg. 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 2009 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
X-rays for early Alzheimer's disease detection
Autonomous robot detects shrapnel
Arizona Telemedicine Training Programme accredited by American Telemedicine Association
Reading the brain without poking it: New electrodes may help amputees and paralyzed
Roshan is expanding Afghanistan's first telemedicine project to Bamyan region
 
Grid for Health
 
Computer idle? Now you can donate its time to find a cure for major diseases
IUPUI chemists develop Distributed Drug Discovery: Finding drugs for neglected diseases
Gene Network Sciences announces cancer collaboration with University of Connecticut Health Center's Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center
Indiana University and Technische Universität Dresden collaborate on improved life sciences data transfer
Proteins are molecular machines
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
West Wireless Health Institute teams with Corventis for its first multicentre, randomized clinical trial
LifeWatch and Verizon Wireless to expand health care telemedicine solutions
Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist develops system to monitor foetal heartbeat
Promising device snags young inventors coveted spot at IShow
Spain's Regional Extremadura Government launches electronic prescription system with IBM
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
GE Healthcare and Qatar Science and Technology Park to research advanced technologies for breast cancer detection
Polycom and AMD Global Telemedicine Inc. to deliver integrated visual and voice telehealth capability to clinicians on-the-go
US Oncology Inc. turns to Oracle to improve patient care with electronic health records system
IBM and European Union partners create a better way to fight AIDS virus
Middle River Hospice selects CareAnyware to improve operations and address regulatory changes
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Beating the bullies - changing real-world behaviour through virtual experience
Engineering that cures
Eye-tracking software opens on-line worlds to people with disabilities
Engineering innovative solutions for 21st century medicine
Revolutionizing the diagnosis of serious disease using ultrasonic nanotechnology
 
The 21st century hospital
 
VMware View delivers 'Follow Me Desktop' for health care practitioners
Successful neurosurgery with transcranial MR-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound
Telemedicine expands reach of care for Parkinson's patients
Canadian New Brunswick Province selects ROAM as the single access solution for all hospital and iEHR systems
Awarepoint announces Real-Time Location System (RTLS) deployment to Moores Cancer Center
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Unique partnership adapts rapid prototyping technology for medical use
Tel Aviv University develops computer game therapy now ready for treating adults' lazy eyes
Bleck Design Group and Sedona Strategies join forces to provide wireless technology solutions for health care device companies
More than 1000 patients benefit from emergency stroke care
Log on to beat the Black Dog: Internet-based therapy effective in treating depression
 
VMWC news bites
 
University of Illinois at Chicago evaluates 'virtual world' training for public health emergencies
Virtual Patient to improve treatment for allergy sufferers
'Mixed reality' human helps medical students learn to do intimate exams
Wii-hab may enhance Parkinson's treatment
Assembling the Virtual Human
 

Leads July 2009 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
X-rays for early Alzheimer's disease detection
Full ArticleResearchers at the United States Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have demonstrated a new, highly detailed x-ray imaging technique that could be developed into a method for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. The technique has previously been used to look at tumours in breast tissue and cartilage in human knee and ankle joints, but this study is the first to test its ability to visualize a class of miniscule plaques that are a hallmark feature of Alzheimer's disease. Their results will appear in a July 2009 edition of the journal NeuroImage.
Autonomous robot detects shrapnel
Full ArticleBioengineers at Duke University have developed a laboratory robot that can successfully locate tiny pieces of metal within flesh and guide a needle to its exact location - all without the need for human assistance. The successful proof-of-feasibility experiments led the researchers to believe that in the future, such a robot could not only help treat shrapnel injuries on the battlefield, but might also be used for such medical procedures as placing and removing radioactive "seeds" used in the treatment of prostate and other cancers.
Arizona Telemedicine Training Programme accredited by American Telemedicine Association
Full ArticleThe Arizona Telemedicine Programme's Training Programme - an expert in telemedicine and telehealth training - is one of the first training programmes in the United States to be accredited by the American Telemedicine Association, known as ATA. The association, the largest telemedicine organisation in the world, established its first-of-a-kind certification programme earlier this year.
Reading the brain without poking it: New electrodes may help amputees and paralyzed
Full ArticleExperimental devices that read brain signals have helped paralyzed people use computers and may let amputees control bionic limbs. But existing devices use tiny electrodes that poke into the brain. Now, a University of Utah study shows that brain signals controlling arm movements can be detected accurately using new micro-electrodes that sit on the brain but don't penetrate it.
Roshan is expanding Afghanistan's first telemedicine project to Bamyan region
Full ArticleRoshan, a telecom operator in Afghanistan, is expanding its first-of-its-kind telemedicine solution in Afghanistan beyond Kabul to include provincial hospitals. Bamyan Provincial Hospital will be the first provincial medical facility linked to the innovative telemedicine project, which uses broadband technology, wireless video conferencing and digital image transfer, to provide hospitals in Afghanistan with real-time access to specialist health care diagnosis, treatment and training expertise from abroad.
 
Grid for Health
 
Computer idle? Now you can donate its time to find a cure for major diseases
Full ArticleNot using your computer at the moment? You can now donate your computer's idle time to cutting-edge biomedical research aimed at finding a cure for HIV, Parkinson's, arthritis, and breast cancer. Through the University of Delaware's "Docking@Home" project, led by Michela Taufer, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, and supported by the National Science Foundation, more than 6000 volunteers worldwide are donating their computer's idle time to perform scientific calculations that will aid in creating new and improved medicines to thwart these major diseases.
IUPUI chemists develop Distributed Drug Discovery: Finding drugs for neglected diseases
Full ArticleResearchers from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) have developed Distributed Drug Discovery (D3), a new low-cost strategy to accelerate the discovery of drugs to treat neglected diseases such as tuberculosis, leprosy, leshmaniasis, dengue fever, and Chagas disease. Even in times of economic prosperity, the pharmaceutical industry has often been reluctant to get involved in developing treatments for diseases that occur primarily in low income countries. The low cost D3 approach, involving distributed global educational resources at the early stage of discovery, is even more attractive in this time of global economic downturn.
Gene Network Sciences announces cancer collaboration with University of Connecticut Health Center's Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center
Full ArticleGene Network Sciences Inc. (GNS) has entered into a research collaboration with the University of Connecticut Health Center's Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center in which the parties will incorporate genetic, genomic and clinical data (3D Data) together into computer models of different cancers to be used to identify the best treatments for individual patients and to develop new drug treatments and diagnostics. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Indiana University and Technische Universität Dresden collaborate on improved life sciences data transfer
Full ArticleFacilitating greater levels of collaboration between scientists and medical researchers in Europe and the United States is the goal of an announcement by information technology experts from Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), Germany and Indiana University (IU). The formal agreement of friendship and co-operation between the two universities will impact joint research in high performance computing and informatics.
Proteins are molecular machines
Full ArticleProf. Dr. Helmut Grubmüller from the Max Planck Institute in Germany introduced the attendants of the HPC and Bioinformatics Session at ISC'09 into the fascinating world of proteins so they could literally watch the biological nano-machines at work. Since the sequence structure and dynamics are strongly interwoven the elementary steps are conformational motions, according to the speaker. Therefore supercomputer simulations are highly needed to detect the motions.
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
West Wireless Health Institute teams with Corventis for its first multicentre, randomized clinical trial
Full ArticleThe West Wireless Health Institute (WWHI), one of the world's first medical research organisations dedicated to advancing health and well-being through the use of wireless technologies, will collaborate with Corventis Inc. for the Institute's first clinical research programme. Corventis is a developer of wireless cardiovascular solutions designed to enable early detection, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular conditions.
LifeWatch and Verizon Wireless to expand health care telemedicine solutions
Full ArticleLifeWatch Services Inc., a provider of wireless telemedicine services in the United States and the major United States subsidiary of Swiss-based LifeWatch AG's - formerly Card Guard - has reached an exclusive agreement with Verizon Wireless, a United States-based wireless service provider. Under this agreement, Verizon Wireless will be the preferred network for LifeWatch's successful remote monitoring service for cardiac patients.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist develops system to monitor foetal heartbeat
Full ArticleTiny fluctuations in a foetus's heartbeat can indicate distress, but currently there is no way to detect such subtle variations except during labour, when it could be too late to prevent serious or even fatal complications. Now, a new system developed by an Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientist and colleagues including an obstetrician could allow much earlier monitoring of the foetal heartbeat. The additional researchers are from the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble, Sharif University, Tufts Medical Center, and E-TROLZ Inc.
Promising device snags young inventors coveted spot at IShow
Full ArticleThe IShow is for young inventors what "American Idol" is for young performers, and a pair of local researchers has won a coveted spot in the IShow finale in Palm Desert, California. If their unique health-monitoring device wins at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Innovation Showcase, also known as the IShow, University of Houston MBA student Nithin Rajan and Steve Xu, who both work at the Abramson Center for the Future of Health in the Texas Medical Center, could receive up to $10.000 in seed funding from ASME. And that's just the beginning.
Spain's Regional Extremadura Government launches electronic prescription system with IBM
Full ArticleThe Extremadura Regional Government of Spain and IBM have launched an electronic prescription system in 680 pharmacies in Extremadura, where health centres and pharmacies are now computerised and able to prescribe and dispense prescription medications electronically. Electronic prescriptions make it easier for patients and doctors to monitor and control treatment. It also improves the quality of care as doctors have up to 30 percent more time for patient consultations, according to Extremadura Health Service.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
GE Healthcare and Qatar Science and Technology Park to research advanced technologies for breast cancer detection
Full ArticleGE Healthcare, the health care business of General Electric Company, and Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) have entered into a research & development programme related to advanced technologies for the early detection of breast cancer. Capitalizing on GE's strong existing partnership with QSTP, Qatar Foundation's research accelerator, the goal of the joint research programme is to develop new and innovative technologies for screening and diagnosis of breast cancer using the latest developments in digital X-ray mammography.
Polycom and AMD Global Telemedicine Inc. to deliver integrated visual and voice telehealth capability to clinicians on-the-go
Full ArticlePolycom Inc., a global expert in telepresence, video, and voice communications solutions, and AMD Global Telemedicine Inc. have introduced an integrated voice and video solution for telehealth providers. The AMD Dynamic Encounter Network, or ADEN, which allows for capture, control, transmission and management of robust medical device data, now incorporates Polycom's Converged Management Application (CMA) and Polycom CMA Desktop client in its on-screen display.
US Oncology Inc. turns to Oracle to improve patient care with electronic health records system
Full ArticleUS Oncology Inc., a United States provider of oncology support services, has implemented the Oracle Database as the foundation of its Java-based, electronic health records (EHR) system to support the evidence-based approach to cancer treatment. The company's new EHR system, iKnowMed, provides more than 800 network oncologists across US Oncology's 468 affiliated locations with centralized access to comprehensive patient information. US Oncology acquired iKnowMed, and its oncology-specific EHR technology, in 2004.
IBM and European Union partners create a better way to fight AIDS virus
Full ArticleIBM was selected for its contributions to the EuResist research project for AIDS treatment as a Computerworld Honors Programme Laureate for 2009. Developed by IBM researchers in Haifa, Israel, the project's new technologies and mathematical models are providing a smarter and more efficient way to choose the best drugs combinations for any given HIV genetic variant. EuResist is a powerful on-line system that helps doctors choose the treatment with the highest probability of halting virus replication and impairing evolution of drug resistance.
Middle River Hospice selects CareAnyware to improve operations and address regulatory changes
Full ArticleMiddle River Hospice in Winterset, Iowa, is the latest organisation to select CareAnyware's Hospice Care Management Solution. Changes in hospice billing procedures, Conditions of Participation, and the new QAPI requirements drove Middle River Hospice to seek a technology solution that could automate clinical data gathering and improve interdisciplinary team communications. Middle River Hospice ultimately selected CareAnyware because of robust functionality - including comprehensive point-of-care, streamlined field and office work flows, automated level-of-care billing, and hospice-oriented reporting - that is uniquely delivered via a web-based application.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Beating the bullies - changing real-world behaviour through virtual experience
Full ArticleSocial problems like bullying and stereotyping involve thoughts, feelings and reactions that resist change. New research shows that when students play active roles in virtual dramas their attitudes and behaviour can change. The European Union-funded research project eCIRCUS - Education through Characters with emotional-Intelligence and Role-playing Capabilities that Understand Social interaction - has now produced two programmes - FearNot! and ORIENT - that give students helpful roles in interactive virtual worlds, where they can learn to change their thoughts, feelings and actions.
Engineering that cures
Full ArticleMajor challenges and opportunities will arise in the health sector in the future. Research in technology that can be applied to this sector is being carried out by several Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) teams. Although sophisticated medical technology is already available in health systems in developed countries, further advances are constantly being made. As a result of the addition of medical nanotechnology to existing knowledge of molecular and cellular biology, it seems likely that new, more personalised, more accurate and more rapid diagnostic techniques will be devised in the future, as well as new treatments that are also more personalised and promote regeneration of the organism.
Eye-tracking software opens on-line worlds to people with disabilities
Full ArticleTechnology that allows gamers to control game functions with only their eyes is helping to open virtual worlds such as Second Life and World of Warcraft to people with severe motor disabilities. The gaming-with-gaze software - a first version of which has been made publicly available for free - is one of several applications to emerge from COGAIN, an European Union-funded network of excellence aimed at co-ordinating efforts from developers of new communications tools for people with disabilities using gaze and eye-tracking technology.
Engineering innovative solutions for 21st century medicine
Full ArticleThe Wellcome Trust and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) have announced joint funding for four new Centres of Excellence in Medical Engineering to transform the future of health care. Engineers have been at the forefront of medical innovation throughout the history of medicine, benefiting millions of people with tools such as implants and prosthetic limbs, devices to monitor the physiological state of patients, and instruments to maintain bodily functions, such as the implantable pacemaker. As both medicine and engineering continue to advance at great pace, it is crucial that the links between these disciplines are maintained, especially with the potential for groundbreaking advances in fields such as imaging and genetics.
Revolutionizing the diagnosis of serious disease using ultrasonic nanotechnology
Full ArticleRevolutionary ultrasonic nanotechnology that could allow scientists to see inside a patient's individual cells to help diagnose serious illnesses is being developed by researchers at the University of Nottingham. The new technique would utilise ultrasound technology - more commonly used to look at whole bodies such as foetal scanners - to look inside cells. The components of the new technology would be many thousand times smaller than current systems. The technology would be tiny enough to allow scientists to see inside and image individual cells in the human body, which would further our understanding of the structure and function of cells and could help to detect abnormalities to diagnose serious illnesses such as some cancers.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
VMware View delivers 'Follow Me Desktop' for health care practitioners
Full ArticleHealth care providers are using VMware View, developed by VMware Inc., a global expert in virtualization solutions from the desktop through the data centre and to the Cloud, to furnish medical staff with reliable access to their desktops, applications and information as they roam from room to room and floor to floor within hospitals to care for patients. Health care organisations including Norton Healthcare, St. Vincent's Catholic Hospital and Riverside HealthCare are using VMware View to help deliver cost-effective, flexible, highly available IT services, ultimately improving patient care. Health care provider "follow me" desktops deliver the medical information they need to care for patients, while giving IT staff the ability to easily provision, secure and manage desktops and applications from the data centre.
Successful neurosurgery with transcranial MR-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound
Full ArticleThe Magnetic Resonance Center of the University Children's Hospital Zurich has achieved a world first breakthrough in Magnetic Resonance (MR)-guided, non-invasive neurosurgery. Ten patients have been successfully treated by means of transcranial high-intensity focused ultrasound. This fully non-invasive procedure opens new horizons for neurosurgery and the treatment of different neurological brain disorders.
Telemedicine expands reach of care for Parkinson's patients
Full ArticleA unique and innovative telemedicine project is providing distant nursing home patients with Parkinson's disease access to neurologists at the University of Rochester Medical Center. A pilot study of the project - the results of which were released in June 2009 at the International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders in Paris - demonstrates that the system can improve the quality of life and motor function of patients.
Canadian New Brunswick Province selects ROAM as the single access solution for all hospital and iEHR systems
Full ArticleNew Brunswick province in Canada is teaming up with partners to provide health care professionals with better and faster access to medical information. Health Minister Michael Murphy announced that new specialty software had recently been integrated with IT systems in New Brunswick's regional hospitals and other health care facilities.
Awarepoint announces Real-Time Location System (RTLS) deployment to Moores Cancer Center
Full ArticleAwarepoint Corporation has deployed its Real-time Location System (RTLS) at the Rebecca and John Moores University of California San Diego (UCSD) Cancer Center. This deployment adds a third UCSD Medical Center hospital to Awarepoint's RTLS coverage, which currently includes the system's Thornton and Hillcrest campuses. The Awarepoint enterprise RTLS installation has now been expanded to include nearly 1,5 million square feet with more than 2000 assets under management, covering three hospitals across nearly 14 miles.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Unique partnership adapts rapid prototyping technology for medical use
Full ArticleA unique partnership bringing together medics, manufacturing researchers and rapid prototyping specialists has just been signed at the National Health Service (NHS) Innovation Expo at London's Excel Centreshow on 19th June 2009. The partnership will make the very latest rapid prototyping available to medical researchers and practising medical consultants.
Tel Aviv University develops computer game therapy now ready for treating adults' lazy eyes
Full ArticleFour percent of all children suffer from amblyopia, better known as "lazy eye syndrome". Traditional treatment for the condition requires the use of an eye patch, often for months at a time, before the eye is corrected. This can lead to social stigma during a formative part of childhood, and worse, it's not 100 percent effective. Now Tel Aviv University's eye and brain specialist Dr. Uri Polat of the Goldschleger Eye Research Institute has developed a computer therapy that could spare kids from the ugly eye patch, letting them enjoy themselves during therapy. The treatment, currently available for adults only, corrects the activity of the neurons in the brain, the main operator of eye function.
Bleck Design Group and Sedona Strategies join forces to provide wireless technology solutions for health care device companies
Full ArticleSedona Strategies and Bleck Design Group will join forces to provide wireless health care technology solutions. This partnership offers health care technology companies design and development services for integrating mHealth, remote monitoring and telehealth technology into existing and next generation systems.
More than 1000 patients benefit from emergency stroke care
Full ArticleThanks to the existence of a Telestroke programme which began in Ontario in 2002, more than 1000 patients who have experienced a stroke have survived its debilitating efforts using this novel treatment model. An emergency telemedicine application supported by the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), Telestroke uses live, two-way television and digital image transfer to "connect" local stroke patients and their emergency physicians with remote neurologists located at larger urban health care facilities to obtain urgent diagnosis and management advice.
Log on to beat the Black Dog: Internet-based therapy effective in treating depression
Full ArticleIn a discovery that could lead to new treatment approaches for depression, researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have shown that internet-based therapy programmes are as effective as face-to-face therapies in combating the illness. Patients in a clinician-assisted internet-based treatment programme experienced rates of recovery similar to those achieved by face-to-face therapy, the research found.
 
VMWC news bites
 
University of Illinois at Chicago evaluates 'virtual world' training for public health emergencies
Full ArticleResearchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health are conducting a study to determine if collaborative virtual environments improve public health preparedness and response planning. The study is funded by a $1,6 million grant from the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. The project will use Second Life, a web-based virtual world in which users move and interact in simulated 3D spaces, to train public health workers in emergency preparedness.
Virtual Patient to improve treatment for allergy sufferers
Full ArticleKeele University has developed a new programme to be used with its innovative Virtual Patient system to help pharmacists train in dispensing medication and providing advice on the treatment of hay fever and allergies. With the summer fast approaching and pollen counts set to rise, the number of people seeking help for allergies will be on the increase. The unique Virtual Patient system, which is used by students on the University's pharmacy degree courses and can also be used by pharmacists in the community and clinical settings, allows people to interact with computer generated patients to develop their communication and prescribing skills.
'Mixed reality' human helps medical students learn to do intimate exams
Full Article"What brings you in to see me today?" "Part of my left breast has been painful for awhile." "Can you lie down so that I can examine you?" It sounds like a snippet of conversation between doctor and patient. But the doctor, in this recent exchange at the University of Florida campus, was actually an engineering doctoral student - and the patient a "mixed reality human" composed of a life-sized computer avatar on a flat screen and a mannequin with a prosthetic breast.
Wii-hab may enhance Parkinson's treatment
Full ArticleThe Nintendo Wii may help treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease, including depression, according to a Medical College of Georgia researcher. Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disease that impairs motor skills. Dr. Herz theorized that the popular computer game console, which simulates various sports and activities, could improve co-ordination, reflexes and other movement-related skills, but he found additional benefits as well.
Assembling the Virtual Human
Full ArticleIt could mean the end of animal testing and eventually even clinical patient drug trials. The Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) is a 21st century pan-European project that's gaining momentum and takes a major step forward at the University of Nottingham. The University is one of 13 institutions involved in the VPH initiative which aims to create a methodological and technological framework to deliver patient-specific computer models for the personalised and predictive health care of the future. Once established it will allow a wide range of academic, clinical and industrial researchers to investigate the human body as a single complex system. They will be able to use the VPH network's expanding database of computer simulation data to develop better diagnosis and treatment methods.
 

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© 2009, Genias Benelux

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