" Monthly Issue for 200909

 

VMW Monthly - September 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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Contents September 2009 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
New high-speed Internet health information network to connect state's urban and rural health care providers
Argonne and University of Chicago scientists develop targeted cancer treatment using nanomaterials
Carnegie Mellon leads NSF initiative to develop modeling tools for disease and complex systems
New DNA test uses nanotechnology to find early signs of cancer
Faster and cheaper way to find disease genes in human genome passes initial test
 
Grid for Health
 
NSF awards Parabon NanoLabs research grant to develop novel cancer therapeutics by design versus by discovery
Intel helps convert unused PC processor power into an instrument to fight disease and study climate change
GridwiseTech revolutionizes data management using AdHoc in the Virolab Project
UNITAR, UNIGE and CERN collaborate on a Citizen Cyberscience Centre
Two software tools that improve identification of cancer biomarkers earn certification
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Entra Health Systems demonstrates MyGlucoHealth wireless monitoring solution for the management of gestational diabetes
Twitter and health care - can a tweet a day keep the doctor away?
A&D Medical releases first Continua Certified blood pressure monitor and weight scale
Agilis Systems announces new health care division
UCLA welcomes MediSens Wireless to new incubator space at California NanoSystems Institute
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
White Pine Systems and Avicenna Medical Systems announce agreement to deliver integrated telemedicine and interoperable PHR solution to improve chronic disease management
Vaddio PTZ cameras broadcast medical simulation at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia
Pivotal S.L. uses Oracle health sciences applications to accelerate clinical trial data collection and gain real-time visibility into studies
Ochsner selects Reach Call for statewide telemedicine system to improve stroke care in urban and rural areas
GeckoSystems expects new Medicare/Medicaid payments to increase personal robot demand
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Sun, sea and sickness - expect better health care abroad
Central European countries plan extensive co-operation for rare diseases
Health care, the road to robotic helpers
Electronic medicine, without borders?
Nanomagnets guide stem cells to damaged tissue
 
The 21st century hospital
 
InfoLogix selected by Hilo Medical Center for multi-year engagement to deliver Wireless as a Service
Rhode Island Hospital awarded $11 million in a 5-year renewal
Marshfield Clinic saves Medicare millions while improving quality of care
Computer system improves pain therapy for cancer patients
New InfoLogix M24 mobile clinical assistant will enable hospitals to access Electronic Medical Records (EMR) directly at the point-of-care
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Nanoparticles cross blood-brain barrier to enable 'brain tumour painting'
Baby's mp3 heart monitor: new safe approach to foetal heart monitoring could save lives
International robotic surgery forum launches in Chicago
Learn about Electronic Health Records with UC Davis Extension
Transinsight's GoPubMed.com wins the 2009 red dot: best of the best award for excellence in communication design
 
VMWC news bites
 
Stanford University creates a touch-enabled virtual body double for rehearsing sinus surgery using SensAble's haptic devices
SensAble customer, Ohio Supercomputer Center, wins National Award for haptically-enabled surgical simulation teaching tool
Robot's gentle touch aids delicate cancer surgery
Using robots to serve the elderly at home
Medical Semantics, Ontologies, Open Solutions and EHR Systems
 

Leads September 2009 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
New high-speed Internet health information network to connect state's urban and rural health care providers
Full ArticleThe Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) and the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council (CBHC) have selected Qwest Communications to provide high-speed broadband services that will link nearly 400 of the state's urban and rural health care and behavioural health providers, and facilitate telemedicine access. Once complete, the Colorado Telehealth Network will be the among the largest health care information networks in the United States.
Argonne and University of Chicago scientists develop targeted cancer treatment using nanomaterials
Full ArticleScientists from the United States Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago's Brain Tumor Center have developed a way to target brain cancer cells using inorganic titanium dioxide nanoparticles bonded to soft biological material. Thousands of people die from malignant brain tumours every year, and the tumours are resistant to conventional therapies. This nano-bio technology may eventually provide an alternative form of therapy that targets only cancer cells and does not affect normal living tissue.
Carnegie Mellon leads NSF initiative to develop modeling tools for disease and complex systems
Full ArticleA multi-disciplinary team led by Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist Edmund M. Clarke has received a five-year, $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Expeditions in Computing programme to create revolutionary computational tools that will advance science on a broad array of fronts, from discovering new cancer treatments to designing safer aircraft. The researchers will combine Model Checking and Abstract Interpretation, two methods that have been successful in finding errors in computer circuitry and software, and extend them so they can provide insights into models of complex systems, whether they are biological or electronic.
New DNA test uses nanotechnology to find early signs of cancer
Full ArticleUsing tiny crystals called quantum dots, Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a highly sensitive test to look for DNA attachments that often are early warning signs of cancer. This test, which detects both the presence and the quantity of certain DNA changes, could alert people who are at risk of developing the disease and could tell doctors how well a particular cancer treatment is working. The new test was reported in a paper called "MS-qFRET: a quantum dot-based method for analysis of DNA methylation", published in the August issue of the journal Genome Research. The work also was presented at a conference of the American Association of Cancer Research.
Faster and cheaper way to find disease genes in human genome passes initial test
Full ArticleUniversity of Washington (UW) researchers have successfully developed a novel genome-analysis strategy for more rapid, lower cost discovery of possible gene-disease links. By saving time and lowering expenses, the approach makes it feasible for scientists to search for disease-causing genes in people with the same inherited disorder but without any family ties to each other. The strategy also might be extended to common medical conditions with complex genetics by making it more cost-effective and efficient to study the genomes of large groups of people. Such large-scale research hasn't been undertaken because it has been prohibitively expensive, cumbersome, and time-consuming to sequence, compare and interpret entire human genomes.
 
Grid for Health
 
NSF awards Parabon NanoLabs research grant to develop novel cancer therapeutics by design versus by discovery
Full ArticleParabon NanoLabs has received its award of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant. The grant will be used to demonstrate the viability of a new class of anticancer molecules that are engineered to automatically self-assemble from interlocking strands of synthetic DNA. It was a combination of innovations - DNA nanotechnology fabrication and Grid computing sequence optimization - that led to Parabon NanoLabs' award.
Intel helps convert unused PC processor power into an instrument to fight disease and study climate change
Full ArticleOften in the fight against cancer, researchers are not limited by their ingenuity, but the resources available to make research effective. The processor power needed to handle complex calculations is often in short supply. To help address this need, Intel Corporation has launched Progress Thru Processors, a new volunteer computing application built on the Facebook platform that allows people to donate their PCs' unused processor power to research projects such as Rosetta@home, which uses the additional computing power to help find cures for cancer and other diseases such as HIV and Alzheimer's.
GridwiseTech revolutionizes data management using AdHoc in the Virolab Project
Full ArticleGridwiseTech has developed AdHoc, an advanced framework for sharing geographically distributed data and compute resources. It simplifies the resource management and makes co-operation secure and effective. AdHoc was initially created for a consortium of hospitals and institutions to share medical data sets in the ViroLab Project.
UNITAR, UNIGE and CERN collaborate on a Citizen Cyberscience Centre
Full ArticleThe United Nations Institute for Training and Research, UNITAR, the University of Geneva, UNIGE, and the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN have formally agreed to collaborate on a Citizen Cyberscience Centre Project. These three partners have a common interest in, and experience of, developing Citizen Cyberscience applications for humanitarian and fundamental research. Citizen Cyberscience provides scientists with an inexpensive form of distributed computing power that is complementary to Grid technology. This is especially true for processing-intensive problems, as illustrated by the LHC@home project developed by CERN and partners for Large Hadron Collider beam studies.
Two software tools that improve identification of cancer biomarkers earn certification
Full ArticleThe explosive growth of genomic and proteomic data has ushered in a new era of molecular medicine in which cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment are tailored to each individual's molecular profile. But this personalized medicine approach requires that researchers discover and link biomarkers - such as genes or proteins - to specific disease behaviours, such as the rate of tumour progression and different responses to treatments.
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Entra Health Systems demonstrates MyGlucoHealth wireless monitoring solution for the management of gestational diabetes
Full ArticleEntra Health Systems, an international applied health care technology company, has demonstrated how the MyGlucoHealth chronic disease management platform could be effective in the monitoring and treatment of gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is one of the most common health care complications during pregnancy. It affects nearly 8 percent of expectant mothers in the United States and is significantly higher among some ethnic populations worldwide. For gestational diabetes management, the MyGlucoHealth Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose meter works as part of an automated diabetic care solution that can be used by obstetricians to more closely monitor and manage the disease as a part of prenatal treatment.
Twitter and health care - can a tweet a day keep the doctor away?
Full ArticleTwitter, the increasingly popular social networking tool that was at first merely a convenient way to stay in touch with friends and family, is emerging as a potentially valuable means of real-time, on-the-go communication of health care information and medical alerts, as described in a feature article in the Medical Connectivity section of the latest issue of Telemedicine and e-Health, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc., and the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association.
A&D Medical releases first Continua Certified blood pressure monitor and weight scale
Full ArticleFurthering its legacy as a pioneer and innovator in telemedicine devices, A&D Medical has released the first Continua Certified blood pressure monitor and the first certified weight scale. The certification of these two Bluetooth wireless technology products significantly increases the number of market-ready, interoperable devices available in the Continua Health Alliance ecosystem.
Agilis Systems announces new health care division
Full ArticleAgilis Systems, a St. Louis-based developer of comprehensive work order and work flow management solutions that transform mobile devices into wireless business platforms, has established its latest division: Mobile Health Technologies. Mobile Health Technologies will cater specifically to professionals in home health care, durable medical equipment companies, pharmaceutical distributors and patient transport providers. The new entity will combine the power of Agilis' award-winning software with an expert team that has more than 30 years of combined experience in the health care technology field.
UCLA welcomes MediSens Wireless to new incubator space at California NanoSystems Institute
Full ArticleUniversity of California Los Angeles's (UCLA) newly launched on-campus technology incubator at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) has opened lab space to MediSens Wireless, a start-up company that develops and manufactures personal body-monitoring systems for medical and health applications. The incubator programme was established in March 2009 to nurture early-stage research and accelerate the commercial translation of technologies developed at UCLA.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
White Pine Systems and Avicenna Medical Systems announce agreement to deliver integrated telemedicine and interoperable PHR solution to improve chronic disease management
Full ArticleWhite Pine Systems LLC, an emerging provider of on-line personal health records solutions, and Avicenna Medical Systems Inc., an established provider of clinical disease management systems, have entered into a joint marketing agreement to offer an integrated telemedicine/PHR solution to help clinical staff, patients and their families better manage chronic medical conditions.
Vaddio PTZ cameras broadcast medical simulation at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia
Full ArticleVaddio, a manufacturer and OEM distributor of specialty PTZ cameras and high-end camera control systems, supplied Australian-based Vizcom Technologies with 15 Model 70 PTZ robotic camera systems for recording and documenting medical simulation in the Health and Wellness Building at Edith Cowan University (ECU).
Pivotal S.L. uses Oracle health sciences applications to accelerate clinical trial data collection and gain real-time visibility into studies
Full ArticlePivotal S.L., a Spanish contract research organisation (CRO) and medical pharmaceutical consultancy group, has upgraded to Oracle Remote Data Capture (RDC) 4.5.3 and plans to use Oracle's Siebel Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS) to help it conduct and manage clinical studies more effectively and efficiently. The CRO first deployed Oracle Clinical and Oracle Database in 2003 as the standard and foundation for its clinical trial data management operations.
Ochsner selects Reach Call for statewide telemedicine system to improve stroke care in urban and rural areas
Full ArticleOchsner Health System will use the Reach turn-key telestroke and telehealth service to improve stroke care in urban and rural areas throughout Louisiana. Reach is typically installed in hub-and-spoke networks, where neurologists at a larger "hub" hospital provide consulting services to smaller "spoke" hospitals for remote stroke evaluation.
GeckoSystems expects new Medicare/Medicaid payments to increase personal robot demand
Full ArticleThe new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes recently approved, for physicians only, will further enhance the cost/benefit ratios of personal companion robots for family care. These new CPT codes will increase physician productivity and revenue by billing for activities that have previously been considered unpaid administrative time for non-physical consultations such as telephonic or on-line consumer care using home monitoring medical devices. GeckoSystems International Corporation is a dynamic expert in the emerging Mobile Service Robot (MSR) industry revolutionizing their development and usage with "Mobile Robot Solutions for Safety, Security and Service".
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Sun, sea and sickness - expect better health care abroad
Full ArticleEuropeans love to travel, but hate getting sick while away. Help is at hand with better technology and cross-border administration that make the "sun, sea and sickness" formula sound less dreadful. Whether it is for business, leisure, visiting friends and family or education, Europeans are frequent travellers - making hundreds of millions of trips abroad each year. This sort of mobility - of people, products and services - is enshrined in European Treaties. It is good for economies and good for everyone. But one area in particular still causes headaches. Getting health care while travelling can still be tricky for many Europeans, despite a long-standing legal framework for health care provision across Member States.
Central European countries plan extensive co-operation for rare diseases
Full ArticleLeading experts from six Central European countries - Germany, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary - discussed possibilities for a comprehensive improvement of cross-border co-operation in the treatment of rare diseases at an informal meeting in Salzburg. The "Informal Meeting on Rare Diseases" took place on 24 and 25 August as a follow-up to last year's meeting of numerous European Union health ministers in Salzburg. The possibility for the practical implementation of the close co-operation sought in this specialised area of medicine was discussed at the expert level. Both the meeting of ministers and the meeting of experts took place at the initiative of the Austrian Ministry of Health and the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG), the most important health policy event in the European Union - 30 September to 2 October 2009 in Bad Hofgastein.
Health care, the road to robotic helpers
Full ArticleRobots are whirring away in factories all over the world, building cars, phones and cookers. Yet they can do so much more. Robotics for health care has been tipped as the next big wave, and Europe should be poised to ride it, according to a European road-mapping study.
Electronic medicine, without borders?
Full ArticleDisease knows no borders and now researchers in Europe and the Mediterranean shoreline are using electronic infrastructures - e-Infrastructures - to co-ordinate and co-operate internationally. Disease knows no borders. With migration, mixing populations and globalisation, genetic disorders, too, spread and blend easily. In each country where particular diseases emerge, national authorities deploy resources to track, treat and research common diseases.
Nanomagnets guide stem cells to damaged tissue
Full ArticleMicroscopic magnetic particles have been used to bring stem cells to sites of cardiovascular injury in a new method designed to increase the capacity of cells to repair damaged tissue, according to scientists of the University College London (UCL). The cross disciplinary research, published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions, demonstrates a technique where endothelial progenitor cells - a type of stem cell shown to be important in vascular healing processes - have been magnetically tagged with a tiny iron-containing clinical agent, then successfully targeted to a site of arterial injury using a magnet positioned outside the body.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
InfoLogix selected by Hilo Medical Center for multi-year engagement to deliver Wireless as a Service
Full ArticleInfoLogix Inc., a technology provider of enterprise mobility solutions for the health care and commercial industries, has been selected by Hilo Medical Center in Hilo, Hawaii for a multi-year engagement to provide wireless managed services and cellular installation across the Hilo Medical Center (HMC) facility.
Rhode Island Hospital awarded $11 million in a 5-year renewal
Full ArticleRhode Island Hospital has received an $11 million renewal of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to fund its Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) Center for Cancer Research Development (CCRD). Rhode Island Hospital's COBRE CCRD offers cancer researchers access to the latest technologies in molecular pathology and the emerging field of proteomics. The 5-year grant from the NIH's National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), awarded after an extremely competitive peer review process, guarantees that the laboratory-based cancer research programme will continue through the year 2013.
Marshfield Clinic saves Medicare millions while improving quality of care
Full ArticleMarshfield Clinic has improved the quality of health care it delivers to patients while decreasing health care costs in the third performance year of a five-year Medicare demonstration project, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Computer system improves pain therapy for cancer patients
Full ArticlePain therapy for cancer patients - whether inpatient or outpatient - is often inadequate. At Heidelberg University Hospital, the use of an innovative electronic system - combined with guidance by an experienced clinical pharmacist - has been successfully tested. The treatment of the patients showed little variance from international guidelines on pain therapy. In addition, patients reported having less pain. The results of the study have been published in the journal Pain.
New InfoLogix M24 mobile clinical assistant will enable hospitals to access Electronic Medical Records (EMR) directly at the point-of-care
Full ArticleInfoLogix Inc., a technology provider of enterprise mobility solutions for the health care and commercial industries, has introduced a new mobility offering for health care providers, the InfoLogix M24 mobile clinical assistant: a powerful mobile computing solution that enables medical professionals to access critical patient information at the point-of-care.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Nanoparticles cross blood-brain barrier to enable 'brain tumour painting'
Full ArticleBrain cancer is among the deadliest of cancers. It's also one of the hardest to treat. Imaging results are often imprecise because brain cancers are extremely invasive. Surgeons must saw through the skull and safely remove as much of the tumour as they can. Then doctors use radiation or chemotherapy to destroy cancerous cells in the surrounding tissue. Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have been able to illuminate brain tumours by injecting fluorescent nanoparticles into the bloodstream that safely cross the blood-brain barrier - an almost impenetrable barrier that protects the brain from infection. The nanoparticles remained in mouse tumours for up to five days and did not show any evidence of damaging the blood-brain barrier, according to results published in the journal Cancer Research.
Baby's mp3 heart monitor: new safe approach to foetal heart monitoring could save lives
Full ArticleA new type of foetal heart monitor could save the lives of unborn infants in complicated pregnancies, according to a study published in the International Journal of Engineering Systems Modelling and Simulation.
International robotic surgery forum launches in Chicago
Full ArticleA group of robotic surgeons from across the globe launched the Clinical Robotic Surgery Association (CRSA), designed as an international think tank and discussion forum to support the growth of robotic applications within general surgery and its subspecialties. The announcement was made by Pier Cristoforo Giulianotti, MD, Chief of General, Minimally Invasive, and Robotic Surgery at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
Learn about Electronic Health Records with UC Davis Extension
Full ArticleWith the goal of stimulating the widespread adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR), the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act provides significant support for health IT. Building capacity in health and hospital systems to develop, implement and utilize EHRs is key to making this policy a reality.
Transinsight's GoPubMed.com wins the 2009 red dot: best of the best award for excellence in communication design
Full ArticleTransinsight's GoPubMed.com, the semantic search engine for the life sciences, has been recognized with the 2009 red dot: best of the best award in the category communication design - graphical user interfaces and interactive tool. A total of 6112 submissions were received from 42 countries. The jury selected 470 entries for the "red dot design award". A group of only 56 submissions were selected as "the best of the best" and will be participating in the final round for the "grand prix award". The Transinsight team is proud to receive this prestigious award.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Stanford University creates a touch-enabled virtual body double for rehearsing sinus surgery using SensAble's haptic devices
Full ArticleSensAble Technologies Inc.'s customer, Stanford University, has created a personalized touch-enabled 3D virtual environment for rehearsing endoscopic sinus surgery techniques based on SensAble's PHANTOM force-feedback haptic devices. As detailed in the new issue of the American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy, the Stanford Rhinological Virtual Surgical Environment (VSE) demonstration project compiles the patient's own pre-operative CT scans into a computer-based, touch-enabled 3D "body double" of the patient's unique sinus morphology.
SensAble customer, Ohio Supercomputer Center, wins National Award for haptically-enabled surgical simulation teaching tool
Full ArticleSensAble Technologies Inc.'s customer, the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), a publicly-funded research partner to Ohio universities and industries, has won national recognition for its Virtual Temporal Bone Project, which utilizes a SensAble PHANTOM haptic device. The system, developed by OSC in partnership with Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Ohio State University Department of Otolaryngology, received the prestigious "Dr. Frank H. Netter Award for Special Contributions to Medical Education" from the Vesalius Trust for Visual Communication in Health Sciences during the annual meeting of the Association of Medical Illustrators, held July 16-20, in Indianapolis.
Robot's gentle touch aids delicate cancer surgery
Full ArticleNew, delicate surgery techniques to hunt for tumours could benefit from a lighter touch - but from a robot, rather than from a human hand. Canadian researchers have created a touchy-feely robot that detects tougher tumour tissue in half the time, and with 40 percent more accuracy than a human. The technique also minimises tissue damage.
Using robots to serve the elderly at home
Full ArticleRobots that lend a very human-like helping hand to healthy elderly people with limited mobility may be on the horizon, thanks to three University of Illinois at Chicago engineers and a Rush University nursing specialist.
Medical Semantics, Ontologies, Open Solutions and EHR Systems
Full ArticleThis article offers a high level introduction for management to the topics of medical semantics and ontologies as they relate to healthcare and health IT systems. Medical semantics and ontologies tend to be poorly understood by many audiences and are subjects that sound more complex and difficult to grasp than they really are. In this article the authors attempt to briefly introduce and try to demystify these topics, and hopefully, to generate some enthusiasm among skeptics. The article also explores some of the 'open source' tools that have emerged related to this area, and how all this ties into the future of Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Health Information Exchange (HIE) systems.
 

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