VMW Monthly - August 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 August 2009 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
Canada joins international effort to provide access to health research
University of Ottawa Heart Institute's telehealth model cuts re-admission for heart failure by 54 percent
Brookhaven Lab and Hybridyne Imaging Technologies Inc. develop camera for prostate cancer detection
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to lead Opennotes study
'Green' Information Technology (IT) Strategies & Practices
 
Grid for Health
 
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute to develop petascale computer modelling capabilities
New software to understand viruses
IBM award for innovative solution to tackling world's most critical social and environmental problems
Effects of HIV medication can now be accurately predicted in individual patients
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute joins national compute facility
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
WellNet introduces Facebook-like Point to Point Healthcare
Metcare advances its patient-centred medical home initiative with the selection of the eClinicalWorks electronic medical records solution
WebMD launches free mobile application for physicians
CallMD selects A.D.A.M. Multimedia Encyclopedia for its innovative physician service
Researchers turn cell phones into fluorescent microscopes
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
Zynx Health and eClinicalWorks enter agreement to offer clinical decision support to EHR software users
PatientNOW signs agreements with Tangent and Surescripts and improves medical practice insurance billing
UnitedHealth Group and Cisco launch Connected Care, the first national telehealth network to expand health care access
SensAble Technologies adds Texas Dental Lab as newest SensAble Authorized Production Centre
GE Healthcare to grow its health information exchange services by joining global eHealth expert
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
robuLAB10 shown at the 19th World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Smart clothes for better health care
New e-science service could accelerate cancer research
Researchers working on how gold nanoparticles illuminated with laser light may be able to detect and treat cancer
Optical chip detects blood molecules
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Three million euro for hospital quality and safety research
HP ProLiant servers help power the fight against cancer
100th heart valve replacement implanted without open-heart surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia
Carestream Health takes orders from Erie County MC Corporation for digital medical imaging systems and from Tufts MC for flexible RIS/PACS
Hospital improves patient experience by adding e-mail and web access in patient rooms with virtual Linux desktops
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Tangent announces energy efficient all-in-one PC designed as notebook replacement for medical carts
trakSTAR Wide-Range tracks up to 16 miniaturized sensors over 2 meter range
New heart disease risk score outperforms existing test
New chemical imaging technique could help in the fight against atherosclerosis, suggests research
The very first all Spanish surgery robot is now operating in Malaga
 
VMWC news bites
 
Colon capsule endoscopy diagnoses 64 percent of total polyps detected by conventional colonoscopy
Mathematics taking guesswork out of plastic surgery tissue transfer
University of Texas Southwestern and UT Arlington to develop magnetic surgery tools
Elsevier launches official version of BrainNavigator
Clinical trial shows quadriplegics can operate powered wheelchair with tongue drive system
 

Leads August 2009 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
Canada joins international effort to provide access to health research
Full ArticleAccelerating the development of discoveries and innovations and facilitating their adoption through free and open access to research findings. This is the aim of an important new initiative that will provide researchers and knowledge users free access to a vast digital archive of published health research at their desktop and connect them to an emerging international network of digital archives anchored in the United States.
University of Ottawa Heart Institute's telehealth model cuts re-admission for heart failure by 54 percent
Full ArticleA Canadian one-of-a-kind home telehealth monitoring programme developed by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) has cut hospital re-admission by 54 percent for heart failure patients. The programme has also been shown to save up to $20.000 for each patient safely diverted from an Emergency Department visit, re-admission and hospital stay.
Brookhaven Lab and Hybridyne Imaging Technologies Inc. develop camera for prostate cancer detection
Full ArticleThe United States Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and Hybridyne Imaging Technologies Inc. of Toronto, Canada, have won a 2009 R&D 100 Award for developing a compact gamma camera for high-resolution imaging of prostate cancer. The camera system, called ProxiScan, is a nuclear medical instrument that can localize cancer tissue in the prostate gland in detail at an early stage, which is important for the successful diagnosis and early treatment of the potentially deadly disease.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to lead Opennotes study
Full ArticlePatients across the country are voicing a growing desire for greater engagement in, and control over, their own medical care. A new study led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) will examine the impact of adding new layer of openness to a traditionally one-sided element of the doctor-patient relationship - the notes from patients' doctors' visits.
'Green' Information Technology (IT) Strategies & Practices
Full ArticleIn the last thirty-five years the message has been clear, but ignored. The world is being held over a barrel - an oil barrel - when it comes to energy. We all know it's past time to diversify our sources of energy. The public and private sectors need to take the initiative to lead the way into our diversified energy future where the centerpiece of our world's long-range strategy ought to be conservation and increased usage of solar, wind, water power coupled with other sources of energy currently used by all sectors of the economy.
 
Grid for Health
 
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute to develop petascale computer modelling capabilities
Full ArticleThe National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a four-year, $1.450.000 grant to the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory (NDSSL) at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech and partners to develop petascale computing environments that model billions of individuals in extremely large social and information networks.
New software to understand viruses
Full ArticleComputer scientists and biologists at the University of Southampton have used the combined power of computing resources within the institution to develop software which provides a better understanding of how viruses evolve. Researchers from OMII-UK, an organisation based at the University's School of Electronics and Computer Science and a team from the School of Biological Sciences worked together to try and better understand viruses using the latest e-Research techniques.
IBM award for innovative solution to tackling world's most critical social and environmental problems
Full ArticleIBM has been awarded the prestigious Coffey International Award for its application of technical expertise in innovative ways to address the greatest societal challenges of our time at the annual Business in the Community (BITC) Awards for Excellence. IBM earned the award for World Community Grid (WCG), in essence the virtual equivalent in processing power to a Top 10 supercomputer devoted to humanitarian research. World Community Grid gains its power from the aggregated spare computing capacity of 1,3 million PCs belonging to 460.000 volunteers from over 200 countries. For participating members, some with perhaps limited time for volunteering, it provides the opportunity through the World Community Grid to make a significant contribution to tackling the Millennium Development Goals.
Effects of HIV medication can now be accurately predicted in individual patients
Full ArticleScientists from the University of Amsterdam have developed a new computer model that helps further our understanding of HIV virus resistance. For the first time, we can now accurately predict the effects of medication on individual patients. The results were published in the latest edition of scientific periodical Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute joins national compute facility
Full ArticleThe Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the United Kingdom's premier genome research facility, has joined the National Grid Service (NGS), the United Kingdom's leading computational and data resource for all United Kingdom academic researchers.
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
WellNet introduces Facebook-like Point to Point Healthcare
Full ArticleWellNet Healthcare, a health care technology company that enables companies to better manage their health care costs by analysing their benefit programmes to understand why costs are rising and implement actionable strategies to reduce expenses, has formally launched Point to Point Healthcare (P2P), developed by its health care technology subsidiary Healthcare Interactive.
Metcare advances its patient-centred medical home initiative with the selection of the eClinicalWorks electronic medical records solution
Full ArticleMetropolitan Health Networks Inc. (Metcare) has selected eClinicalWorks unified electronic medical records (EMR) and practice management (PM) solution for its nine wholly-owned internal medicine offices in South and Central Florida. The EMR will equip Metcare physicians with paperless patient information that can be securely accessed anytime, anywhere.
WebMD launches free mobile application for physicians
Full ArticleWebMD Health Corporation, a source of health information, has launched Medscape Mobile, a free medical application for physicians. Medscape Mobile provides physicians with Medscape's industry-leading medical information in a convenient mobile format that can be accessed on demand on the iPhone and iPod touch.
CallMD selects A.D.A.M. Multimedia Encyclopedia for its innovative physician service
Full ArticleCallMD, the premier website for instant access to medical advice, diagnosis and treatments from a nationwide network of licensed nurses and physicians, has licensed the A.D.A.M. Multimedia Encyclopedia and Symptom Navigator for its new website. CallMD has also joined the inaugural group of partners in A.D.A.M.'s Medzio Mobile Health Network.
Researchers turn cell phones into fluorescent microscopes
Full ArticleResearchers at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, are proving that a camera phone can capture far more than photos of people or pets at play. They have now developed a cell phone microscope, or CellScope, that not only takes colour images of malaria parasites, but of tuberculosis (TB) bacteria labeled with fluorescent markers. The prototype CellScope, described in the July 22 issue of the on-line journal PLoS ONE, moves a major step forward in taking clinical microscopy out of specialized laboratories and into field settings for disease screening and diagnoses.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
Zynx Health and eClinicalWorks enter agreement to offer clinical decision support to EHR software users
Full ArticleZynx Health, an expert in evidence-based health care, and eClinicalWorks, a market specialist in ambulatory clinical systems, have signed a partnership to provide Zynx AmbulatoryCare order sets to eClinicalWorks clients. The evidence-based content will provide an out-of-the-box solution to help eClinicalWorks clients improve quality of care and succeed in performance measure programmes.
PatientNOW signs agreements with Tangent and Surescripts and improves medical practice insurance billing
Full ArticlePatientNOW, a provider of electronic medical records (EMR) and medical practice management software to the aesthetic market, has signed a reseller agreement with Tangent, that will provide state-of-the-art medical computers and tablets to surgical and aesthetic physicians nation-wide. PatientNOW allows doctors to better manage their patient's information while saving time and improving services. The medical practices front office can now quickly verify a patient's insurance or submit claims by using PatientNOW's new Insurance Bill Module for PatientNOW Medical Records Suite 5.0. The company has also signed an agreement with Surescripts to provide e-prescribing and e-refills using SureScripts for PatientNOW medical practices.
UnitedHealth Group and Cisco launch Connected Care, the first national telehealth network to expand health care access
Full ArticleUnitedHealth Group and Cisco are partnering to build the first national telehealth network, which will give patients access to physicians and specialists when in-person visits are not possible. The new "Connected Care" programme combines audio and video technology and health resources to greatly expand physicians' reach into rural, urban and other underserved areas. UnitedHealth Group has committed tens of millions of dollars toward the new initiative.
SensAble Technologies adds Texas Dental Lab as newest SensAble Authorized Production Centre
Full ArticleDura Castings Inc. of Hurst, Texas, has joined the SensAble Authorized Production Center (SAPC) Programme. SAPCs create fixed and removable dental restorations on the industry's first touch-enabled dental CAD/CAM system, and are certified to provide fabrication services to other labs using SensAble dental systems. By expanding its global network of authorized production centres, SensAble is making it easier for dental labs of all sizes to take advantage of the increased productivity, accuracy, and consistency made possible by the award-winning SensAble Dental Lab System.
GE Healthcare to grow its health information exchange services by joining global eHealth expert
Full ArticleGE Healthcare, a division of General Electric Company, and global eHealth specialist InterComponentWare Inc. (ICW) have signed a strategic agreement to integrate and co-develop their health information exchange (HIE) solutions. Through this relationship, GE Healthcare and ICW will leverage their existing solutions and co-develop new offerings for the health information exchange and global eHealth marketplace. Using ICW's expertise in eHealth and patient connectivity, GE Healthcare will enhance Centricity Health Information Exchange service's existing technology, patient connectivity and communications tools while further bolstering their security and interoperability capabilities.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
robuLAB10 shown at the 19th World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Full ArticleAt the 19th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Robosoft has presented RobuLAB10 to the international medical community. RobuLAB10 is a home centric robot aiming at assisting elderly in their home. The robuLAB10 is presented in 2 versions: cognitive assistance and physical assistance. These research projects, supported by the public authorities through the French National Research Agency (ANR) and the National Solidarity Fund for Autonomy (CNSA), are carried out in collaboration with many scientific partners, the historic one being Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique (ISIR), a research laboratory at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris.
Smart clothes for better health care
Full ArticleComfortable smart clothes that monitor the wearer's heart, breathing and body temperature promise to revolutionise health care by reducing hospital visits and allowing patients to lead more active lives. Unlike many remote health monitoring systems that rely on sensors strapped to users' arms or chests connected by wires to bulky equipment, a European team has embedded sensing devices directly into textiles, creating garments that are not only smart but also comfortable and practical to wear. Data from the biosignals collected by the clothes is then sent via a mobile connection to caregivers, allowing doctors to check up on their patients and warning if their health deteriorates.
New e-science service could accelerate cancer research
Full ArticleThe University of Manchester and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have launched a major new e-science resource for biologists - which could accelerate research into treatments for H1N1 flu and cancer. Biocatalogue.org, a centralised registry of curated life science Web Services, has been officially launched July 1, 2009 at the 17th Annual International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology and the 8th European Conference on Computational Biology conference (ISMB-ECCB 2009) in Stockholm.
Researchers working on how gold nanoparticles illuminated with laser light may be able to detect and treat cancer
Full ArticleAt a technical breakfast, Romain Quidant presented his research into the detection and treatment of cancer using gold nanoparticles illuminated with laser light. Romain Quidant, who was recently awarded the Fresnel Prize 2009 that recognizes the highest level of excellence amongst emerging researchers in the field of photonics, is an ICREA researcher at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya's (UPC) Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) and a fellow of the Cellex Foundation Barcelona.
Optical chip detects blood molecules
Full ArticleA portable "lab on a chip" that can identify target molecules in blood samples has been created by European researchers. It is being used to measure fertility hormones and detect the genes associated with certain types of cancer.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Three million euro for hospital quality and safety research
Full ArticleThe King's Patient Safety & Service Quality Research Centre (King's PSSQ) is taking the lead on a major new international research project on quality and safety in European hospitals. A grant of 3 million euro has been secured for the work - subject to contract, which will also involve the PSSQ Research Centre at Imperial College and partners from Sweden, The Netherlands, Portugal and Norway.
HP ProLiant servers help power the fight against cancer
Full ArticleCancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), a national network of hospitals providing a comprehensive, fully integrative approach to cancer treatment, has upgraded its entire technology infrastructure to HP ProLiant servers. The technology upgrade is designed to increase system performance, uptime and reliability - all of which are critical to delivering the best patient care. CTCA offers cancer patients a care model that combines the best traditional medical treatment with scientifically supported integrative therapies aimed at helping patients better manage side effects, strengthen their immune systems and improve their quality of life. It serves patients with advanced cancer from all 50 states at facilities located in suburban Chicago, Philadelphia, Tulsa in Oklahoma, and suburban Phoenix.
100th heart valve replacement implanted without open-heart surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia
Full ArticleOver the last four years, heart specialists at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center have implanted an innovative aortic heart valve replacement using a catheter-based approach that does not require open-heart surgery in a total of 100 patients - the most of any United States medical centre to date. Open-heart surgery can require a two- to three-month recovery period, compared to only a few days for the transcatheter approach.
Carestream Health takes orders from Erie County MC Corporation for digital medical imaging systems and from Tufts MC for flexible RIS/PACS
Full ArticleErie County Medical Center Corporation of Buffalo, New York, has ordered two DIRECTVIEW DR 7500 Systems from Carestream Health Inc., for its new digital Orthopaedic X-Ray Suite and Tufts Medical Center of Boston, Massachusetts, recently ordered a RIS/PACS solution from the same company, to streamline work flow at the prominent teaching hospital. The medical centre also contracted with Carestream Health's eHealth Managed Services (eMS) for remote disaster recovery.
Hospital improves patient experience by adding e-mail and web access in patient rooms with virtual Linux desktops
Full ArticleGlendale Adventist Medical Center (GAMC) in Glendale, California has improved the experience of its hospital patients by delivering e-mail and web access in patient rooms, while saving significant information technology (IT) maintenance and energy costs. The hospital installed personal computing stations in 65 patient rooms of its new West Tower, enabling patients to surf the Internet, communicate with friends and family through social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, and research medical information about their condition.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Tangent announces energy efficient all-in-one PC designed as notebook replacement for medical carts
Full ArticleTangent Inc., a provider of technology solutions for the medical market, has unveiled VITA LT, a space and energy saving all-in-one PC for the medical market that is perfect for mobile cart solutions. Ultra-light (10,5 lbs.) and ultra-thin (1,4") and with an 18,5 inch widescreen LCD, the VITA LT is designed as a notebook replacement for medical carts.
trakSTAR Wide-Range tracks up to 16 miniaturized sensors over 2 meter range
Full ArticleAscension's new trakSTAR Wide-Range is now available for ultra fast tracking of small sensors over long ranges. Users can select update rates as high as 240 times a second for each of 16 miniaturized sensors.
New heart disease risk score outperforms existing test
Full ArticleAn independent external validation of QRISK - a new score for predicting a person's risk of heart disease - has shown that it performs better than the existing test and should be recommended for use in the United Kingdom by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). The University of Nottingham and health care systems supplier EMIS worked together, through the not-for-profit partnership QResearch, to develop the ground-breaking formula which has been strongly endorsed in new research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Researchers from the University of Oxford have recommended its widespread use across the United Kingdom in place of the more commonly-used Framingham equation.
New chemical imaging technique could help in the fight against atherosclerosis, suggests research
Full ArticleA new chemical imaging technique could one day help in the fight against atherosclerosis, suggests research published in the August 2009 edition of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Atherosclerosis is the disease underlying most heart attacks and strokes and it is characterised by lesions in the arteries, made of fats, collagen and cells. The lesions cause artery walls to harden and thicken, which severely restricts the flow of blood around the body and they can also rupture, leading to heart attacks and strokes. Understanding the precise chemical composition of an individual's lesions is important because the ones with higher levels of a type of fat called cholesteryl ester are more prone to rupture.
The very first all Spanish surgery robot is now operating in Malaga
Full ArticleLaparoscopic surgery has just been performed for the first time in Malaga in a routine operation using a robotic assistant in the Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Victoria. This robot, successfully marketed to many countries, has been developed entirely by the University of Malaga (UMA) and manufactured by the Spanish company SENER.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Colon capsule endoscopy diagnoses 64 percent of total polyps detected by conventional colonoscopy
Full ArticleCapsule endoscopy for exploring the colon in a minimally invasive manner diagnoses 64 percent of all lesions located by means of conventional colonoscopy. According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine - the specialised medical journal with greatest international impact, the new device would need technical improvements to achieve similar efficacy to the conventional procedure undertaken with a colonoscopy and to date considered a "gold standard" technique for this medical discipline, given that this is what currently provides the most reliable results. It has to be added that, moreover, conventional colonoscopy enables the undertaking of a diagnosis of the colon as well as practising therapeutic procedures, such as the in situ extirpation of polyps during exploration or the obtaining of a biopsy when required.
Mathematics taking guesswork out of plastic surgery tissue transfer
Full ArticlePlastic surgeons are turning to mathematics to take the guesswork out of efforts to ensure that live tissue segments that are selected to restore damaged body parts will have enough blood and oxygen to survive the surgical transfer. In the world's first published mathematical model of tissue transfer, mathematicians have shown that they can use differential equations to determine which tissue segments selected for transfer from one part of the body to another location on the same body will receive the level of oxygen required to sustain the tissue.
University of Texas Southwestern and UT Arlington to develop magnetic surgery tools
Full ArticleUniversity of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center and UT Arlington have reached an agreement with Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. to develop a groundbreaking toolbox of magnetically controlled surgical instruments for minimally invasive surgery. The investigational surgical device platform includes a wide range of magnetically controlled instruments designed to give surgeons greater manoeuverability and range of motion while reducing the number of entry ports into the abdominal cavity required for surgery. The Magnetic Anchoring and Guidance System (MAGS) uses magnets outside the abdomen that attract magnets attached to novel instruments inserted inside the abdomen, allowing internal movement.
Elsevier launches official version of BrainNavigator
Full ArticleElsevier has launched the official version of BrainNavigator, a neuroscience research tool developed in collaboration with the Allen Institute for Brain Science and under the editorship of Professor George Paxinos and Charles Watson, Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney. After unveiling the prototype version at the Society for Neuroscience's Neuroscience 2008 tradeshow last November, the rodent brain version is now available.
Clinical trial shows quadriplegics can operate powered wheelchair with tongue drive system
Full ArticleAn assistive technology that enables individuals to manoeuvre a powered wheelchair or control a mouse cursor using simple tongue movements can be operated by individuals with high-level spinal cord injuries, according to the results of a recently completed clinical trial.
 

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