VMW Monthly - March 2010 - 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 March 2010 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
Developing a cyberinfrastructure for comparative effectiveness in cancer research
New data and visualization tools for the Whole Brain Catalog
Scanning for skin cancer: infrared system looks for deadly melanoma
Arthritis simulation gloves aid companies in designing easy-to-use products
Brain implant reveals the neural patterns of attention
 
Grid for Health
 
The Institute of Cancer Research selects SGI Altix UV, world's fastest supercomputer, as dedicated system for cancer research
IBM to collaborate with leading Australian institutions to push the boundaries of medical research
Explorys launches its first data centre: facility to serve as hub for expansion of the company's national health care population intelligence network
First nuclear magnetic resonance signal of a copper site in azurin obtained
Medicity awarded U.S. patent for its revolutionary agent Grid technology
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Zargis StethAssist and Zargis Cardioscan cleared for sale in Australia
Bluegiga expands to health and medical market with the new Bluegiga eHealth Access Point
Agnity Healthcare unveils APTUS MobileCare for health care professionals seeking freedom of mobility and anytime access to clinical information at the point of care
Orange Healthcare joins the mHealth Alliance to develop mobile health solutions in West Africa
Broadcom Bluetooth enables mobile phones to keep track of user's health
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
IBM to acquire Initiate Systems
Biocartis acquires Philips technology platform for automated DNA/RNA molecular diagnostic testing
Medical Care Technologies Inc. develops Cellular-Based Tele-Health Suite and rolls out teledermatology application
SensAble delivers more dental restorations, speed and convenience with new release 3 of SensAble Dental Lab System
Outcome and Reach Call form partnership to integrate stroke telemedicine data into the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke programme
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Finland invests 1,85 million euro in pan-European infrastructure for biomedical research
Cameras of the future: heart researchers create revolutionary photographic technique
Researchers gain detailed insight into failing heart cells using new nano technique
Assistive technology helps dementia sufferers get through the day
Laser adds extra dimension to lab-on-chip
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Survey finds many surgeons suffer injuries from minimally invasive techniques
UC Davis surgical team performs state's first robotic-assisted, multi-vessel cardiac bypass procedure
TGen and Geisinger Health System announce strategic partnership
GE Healthcare, Intel and Mayo Clinic explore new models of health care delivery
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust selects Theriak for ePrescribing and medicines management
 
Virtual snap shots
 
VSG to launch advanced 3D visualization technologies for medical and life sciences
The eHIT Network expands its eLearning Center
Hamilton Relay awarded telecommunications service contract for State of California
European Commission calls on Member States to step up awareness of Europe's single emergency number 112
projectiondesign brings large-format medical displays to ECR 2010
 
VMWC news bites
 
Pharmacy students practise diagnostic skills on robotic patient
System unveiled for regulating anaesthesia via computer
Introducing RoSS, a 'flight simulator' for robotic surgery
Bucknell University professor's work could shed new light on hip surgery
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Cataract Surgery Trainer teaches residents cataract surgery
 

Leads March 2010 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
Developing a cyberinfrastructure for comparative effectiveness in cancer research
Full ArticleNearly four decades after President Richard Nixon declared a "War on Cancer", the disease still claims the lives of 560.000 Americans every year, despite an annual expenditure of $5 billion by the United States government on research to battle it. Although much progress has been made since Richard Nixon's call to action in 1971, cancer research is made increasingly difficult by the vast amount of relevant data, which is only increasing as scientists discover new drugs and interventions and continue to evaluate their relative benefits, risks and costs. Now researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and the UCSD School of Medicine have been awarded $2,6 million over two years from the United States National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute (NCI) to prototype a cyberinfrastructure that would allow scientists to collect and interpret data from a variety of sources to compare the effectiveness of preventative measures, drugs, treatments and interventions.
New data and visualization tools for the Whole Brain Catalog
Full ArticleResearchers from the Center for Research in Biological Systems (CRBS) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have rolled out the beta version 0.7.5 of the Whole Brain Catalog. In this beta version, developers have improved features to enhance the Catalog's usability as a free, open access environment in which neuroscientists can contribute, share and analyze data.
Scanning for skin cancer: infrared system looks for deadly melanoma
Full ArticleJohns Hopkins researchers have developed a non-invasive infrared scanning system to help doctors determine whether pigmented skin growths are benign moles or melanoma, a lethal form of cancer. The prototype system works by looking for the tiny temperature difference between healthy tissue and a growing tumour.
Arthritis simulation gloves aid companies in designing easy-to-use products
Full ArticleAs the United States population ages, manufacturers of consumer goods are realizing that many customers may not be as nimble-fingered or sharp-sighted as they once were. To help product designers and engineers address those changing requirements, researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) have been developing evaluation methods and design techniques to identify and address the needs of all consumers, including those with functional limitations. GTRI's latest product is a pair of arthritis simulation gloves, which reproduce the reduction in functional capacity experienced by persons with arthritis. The gloves help those responsible for consumer products better understand how arthritis affects a person's ability to grasp, pinch, turn, lift and twist objects.
Brain implant reveals the neural patterns of attention
Full ArticleA paralyzed patient implanted with a brain-computer interface device has allowed scientists to determine the relationship between brain waves and attention. Characteristic activity patterns known as beta and delta oscillations have been observed in various regions of the brain since the early 20th century, and have been theoretically associated with attention. The unique opportunity to record directly from a human subject's motor cortex allowed University of Chicago researchers to investigate this relationship more thoroughly than ever before.
 
Grid for Health
 
The Institute of Cancer Research selects SGI Altix UV, world's fastest supercomputer, as dedicated system for cancer research
Full ArticleThe Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has selected SGI Altix UV, based on Intel Xeon processors - codenamed Nehalem-EX, to support its future life-saving research. The ICR joins the growing list of globally significant high performance computing (HPC) facilities embracing Altix UV as the future of open, high performance, big-memory supercomputing. Altix UV will provide the ICR with a massively scalable shared memory system to process its growing data requirements, including hundreds of terabytes of data for biological networks, MRI imaging, mass-spectrometry, phenotyping, genetics and deep-sequencing information across thousands of CPUs.
IBM to collaborate with leading Australian institutions to push the boundaries of medical research
Full ArticleIBM has set up a research collaboratory in Melbourne, Australia, where scientists from the Victorian Life Sciences Computational Initiative (VLSCI) at the University of Melbourne and the IBM Research Computational Biology Center will use high performance computing - including IBM's Blue Gene supercomputer - to study human disease.
Explorys launches its first data centre: facility to serve as hub for expansion of the company's national health care population intelligence network
Full ArticleExplorys has completed the first stage of its enterprise scale data centre in Northeast Ohio. The company recently signed a multiyear agreement with Expedient to leverage their national network of high capacity, secure, and SAS70 compliant data centres for the Explorys network. The data centre will serve as the base for future expansion of the Explorys DataGrid platform. Built upon next-generation massively parallel Grid computing, the Explorys DataGrid platform will provide the engine for the company's health care population intelligence and search engine.
First nuclear magnetic resonance signal of a copper site in azurin obtained
Full ArticleMetalloproteins, such as the copper-containing azurin, play a major role in catalyzing electron transfer in cellular reactions. Understanding how their structure relates to function can give rise to advances in biotechnology and medicine. To accurately characterize the nature of the bonding - covalent versus ionic versus hybrid - around azurin's metal centre, a team of researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln obtained the first high-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) signal of a copper site in a copper protein.
Medicity awarded U.S. patent for its revolutionary agent Grid technology
Full ArticleMedicity, a provider of health information exchange (HIE) solutions that empower physicians, hospitals and communities to improve care co-ordination, collaboration and achieve meaningful use of health information technology, has been awarded by the United States Patent and Trademark Office the company Patent No. 7,653,634 for its agent Grid technology for health information exchange. This patented technology, which is at the core of Medicity's Novo Grid, has become the industry standard for seamless electronic health record (EHR) integration and community-wide health information exchange.
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Zargis StethAssist and Zargis Cardioscan cleared for sale in Australia
Full ArticleAustralia's Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Australian equivalent of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has cleared the Zargis StethAssist and Zargis Cardioscan devices, developed by Zargis Medical Corporation, a majority-owned subsidiary of Speedus Corporation, for sale in Australia.
Bluegiga expands to health and medical market with the new Bluegiga eHealth Access Point
Full ArticleBluegiga Technologies has made available its new Bluegiga eHealth Access Point based on Bluetooth Health Device Profile (HDP). The new technology can be utilised in various health and medical applications. The first large scale remote monitoring systems utilizing Bluegiga eHealth Access Point will be implemented in Japan by Alive-inc who offers "NTT DOCOMO's wellness support" for people enabling the save remote monitoring of the health condition of a person.
Agnity Healthcare unveils APTUS MobileCare for health care professionals seeking freedom of mobility and anytime access to clinical information at the point of care
Full ArticleAgnity Healthcare, a provider of products, applications and services that harness the power of mobility and the Internet to improve access and the quality of health care, has launched APTUS MobileCare, a mobile health care application for health care professionals that eliminates the need to carry multiple devices by integrating traditionally reliable and proven paging technology with advanced mobile networks for mobile communications along with access to clinical information such as medical charts, e-prescriptions, referrals and drug compliance data - all on a single Smartphone. APTUS MobileCare is aimed at improving productivity, efficiency and access to quality health care.
Orange Healthcare joins the mHealth Alliance to develop mobile health solutions in West Africa
Full ArticleAt the GSM Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Orange Healthcare has revealed plans that they will be joining the mHealth Alliance, a partnership which leverages rapid advances in mobile technology to improve public health, health care systems and patient care in the developing world. Orange Healthcare will begin working with the mHealth Alliance on projects focused in West Africa.
Broadcom Bluetooth enables mobile phones to keep track of user's health
Full ArticleBroadcom Corporation, a global expert in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, has extended its portfolio of Bluetooth system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions to enable mobile phones - and other devices - to wirelessly track and monitor health and fitness indicators. Broadcom's implementation of the Bluetooth Health Devices Profile (HDP) helps expand the Bluetooth ecosystem to include very low power health and fitness sensors enabled by Bluetooth.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
IBM to acquire Initiate Systems
Full ArticleIBM has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Initiate Systems, a market expert in data integrity software for information sharing among health care and government organisations. Initiate's software helps health care clients work more intelligently and efficiently with timely access to patient and clinical data. It also enables governments to share information across multiple agencies to better serve citizens. Initiate Systems is a privately held company based in Chicago, Illinois and marks the 30th acquisition IBM has made to advance its capabilities in information and analytics. Financial details were not disclosed.
Biocartis acquires Philips technology platform for automated DNA/RNA molecular diagnostic testing
Full ArticleMolecular diagnostics company Biocartis and Royal Philips Electronics have signed an agreement that will result in Biocartis acquiring Philips' technology platform for rapid fully-automated DNA/RNA molecular diagnostic testing. The platform has been designed for applications in a wide range of patient sample testing, including oncology and infectious diseases. Financial details of this agreement were not disclosed.
Medical Care Technologies Inc. develops Cellular-Based Tele-Health Suite and rolls out teledermatology application
Full ArticleMedical Care Technologies Inc. (MDCE) has begun development of a secure Cellular-Based Tele-Health Suite that enables users to easily transmit vital signs data via the cellular network, to health care professionals utilizing the Medsuite application. As part of the wellness focus of Medical Care Technologies, the company is also rolling out a teledermatology application.
SensAble delivers more dental restorations, speed and convenience with new release 3 of SensAble Dental Lab System
Full ArticleSensAble Technologies Inc., a provider of touch-enabled 3D modelling systems, dental CAD/CAM solutions and haptic devices, has launched Release 3 of the SensAble Dental Lab System (SDLS), with significant enhancements to this integrated system for creating dental restorations efficiently and more cost-effectively.
Outcome and Reach Call form partnership to integrate stroke telemedicine data into the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke programme
Full ArticleOutcome Sciences Inc., a provider of patient registries, studies, and technologies for evaluating real-world outcomes, and Reach Call, a provider of web-based telemedicine services, have signed a partnership to integrate stroke-telemedicine data into the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke programme.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Finland invests 1,85 million euro in pan-European infrastructure for biomedical research
Full ArticleFinland has made its first specific commitment to the development of European biomedical research infrastructures (BMS ESFRIs) by supporting a joint pilot infrastructure project in bioinformatics (ELIXIR), biobanking (BBMRI) and translational research (EATRIS). The initial commitment of 1,85 million euro is to support preparation and pilot studies in 2010. This funding is meant to ensure Finland's commitment to the building of these European infrastructures. The level of funding in the future years was left open as this depends on the outcome and structures that will be developed in the pilot phase.
Cameras of the future: heart researchers create revolutionary photographic technique
Full ArticleScientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the British Heart Foundation at the University of Oxford have developed a revolutionary way of capturing a high-resolution still image alongside very high-speed video - a new technology that is attractive for science, industry and consumer sectors alike.
Researchers gain detailed insight into failing heart cells using new nano technique
Full ArticleResearchers have been able to see how heart failure affects the surface of an individual heart muscle cell in minute detail, using a new nanoscale scanning technique developed at Imperial College London. The findings may lead to better design of beta-blockers, the drugs that can slow the development of heart failure, and to improvements in current therapeutic approaches to treating heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms.
Assistive technology helps dementia sufferers get through the day
Full ArticleTens of millions of elderly people in the European Union suffering from mild dementia may be able to look after themselves, and free up their carers, thanks to a new European-developed system. One of the first and most debilitating symptoms of dementia is short-term memory loss, which means care is required for people who are otherwise quite capable of looking after themselves. They can perform tasks, but they forget them or how to do them. Other symptoms of mild dementia can be linked to a loss of self-confidence - old people increasingly refraining from initiating social contact - and to a sense of insecurity.
Laser adds extra dimension to lab-on-chip
Full ArticleA European research project has shown how to build optical sensors directly into the structure of labs-on-chips. The breakthrough paves the way for on-the-spot medical diagnostics. People have been working on the "lab-on-a-chip" concept for more than a decade. The idea relies on microfluidics, where tiny volumes of sample liquids move along microscopic channels cut into a variety of substances including silicon, glass and plastic. True, this technology has progressed phenomenally: it is now possible to separate samples at the molecular level on a chip which is no larger than a postage stamp.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Survey finds many surgeons suffer injuries from minimally invasive techniques
Full ArticleSurgeons who engage in minimally invasive, laparoscopic surgery are providing great benefits to their patients, but possibly to their own detriment. That's the finding of the largest survey ever conducted of surgeons in North America who perform laparoscopic procedures. The survey, developed at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, found that 87 percent of laparoscopic surgeons have experienced physical symptoms or discomfort. This was especially true among those with high case volumes. Previous surveys had found only a 20-30 percent incidence of occupational injury among these surgeons. Results of the survey will appear in the March 2010 Journal of the American College of Surgeons and are now available on-line.
UC Davis surgical team performs state's first robotic-assisted, multi-vessel cardiac bypass procedure
Full ArticleTwo cardiothoracic surgeons at the University of California (UC) Davis Medical Center have performed the first robotic-assisted, multi-arterial, cardiac bypass procedure in California. The surgery, which took place in late January, is a highly complex but minimally invasive operation that offers patients quicker recovery times and less blood loss than conventional open-heart bypass procedures.
TGen and Geisinger Health System announce strategic partnership
Full ArticleThe Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Geisinger Health System have signed a strategic research agreement that provides for a focused look at the gaps in clinical medicine where biomedical research can make a difference. One of the first projects will focus on the causes of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic conditions. Researchers plan to look at the possible genetic reasons why so many Americans are overweight, and why diet, exercise and, specifically, bariatric surgery may fail to significantly reduce excess weight in some patients.
GE Healthcare, Intel and Mayo Clinic explore new models of health care delivery
Full ArticleGE Healthcare, Intel Corporation and Mayo Clinic are investigating a new model of health care delivery for patients at increased risk of rehospitalization that is designed to meet patients' needs where they are, including in their homes. Mayo Clinic will conduct a yearlong research study to determine if home monitoring of patients with chronic diseases, using Intel's remote patient monitoring technology, will reduce hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust selects Theriak for ePrescribing and medicines management
Full ArticleLeeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) has entered into a partnership with CIS Healthcare to adapt the Theriak ePrescribing system for use in the United Kingdom. Theriak is a bespoke ePrescribing and medicines management solution, which supports complete closed loop from prescribing to administration and bedside verification. LTHT has previously supported the development and full implementation of ChemoCare, the CIS Healthcare ePrescribing system specific for oncology.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
VSG to launch advanced 3D visualization technologies for medical and life sciences
Full ArticleOpen Inventor by Visualization Sciences Group (VSG) is the premier solution for high-level 3D programming in all types of medical and life science applications. Whatever your visualization requirements are, Open Inventor saves you time and provides the features, performance and image quality you need to be successful.
The eHIT Network expands its eLearning Center
Full ArticleRegulus Communications Inc. has expanded the eHIT eLearning Center for health care education, training, and research. The Center provides the eHIT network with a content management platform for offering webinars, distance learning courses, product and services training, and research projects to accommodate the growing demand for health care service and product education.
Hamilton Relay awarded telecommunications service contract for State of California
Full ArticleHamilton Telecommunications has been selected as one of two new Telecommunications Relay Service providers for the State of California. After a stringent competitive proposal process, the State of California chose Hamilton Relay to provide free telecommunications services that make telephone connections possible between people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech disabled and people who use standard phones. Hamilton will begin providing service starting on June 2, 2010.
European Commission calls on Member States to step up awareness of Europe's single emergency number 112
Full ArticleTo mark European 112 Day on February 11, the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has written to Member States calling on them to intensify their efforts to raise awareness of Europe's single emergency number 112. While awareness has increased slightly, three out of four European Union citizens still do not know they can call 112 in an emergency to contact the police, fire brigade or medical services, either from home or when travelling in the European Union (EU). Having the reflex to dial this 112 lifeline, which now works in all EU countries, could save lives and reduce injuries.
projectiondesign brings large-format medical displays to ECR 2010
Full ArticleReaffirming its commitment to the market for audiovisual technology in medical applications, Norway's projectiondesign is to exhibit at the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) for the first time in March 2010. Making its worldwide debut at ECR in Vienna, Austria will be projectiondesign's new FL32 wuxga medical, the company's first solid-state light-source projector to be tailored specifically to the requirements of the medical market. Fully compliant with DICOM clinical review standards, the new projector offers all the expected benefits of projectiondesign's RealLED technology - including ultra-low power consumption, low cost of ownership, and up to 100.000 hours of operational life, making the projector virtually maintenance free.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Pharmacy students practise diagnostic skills on robotic patient
Full ArticleA robot that can be programmed to have a range of medical conditions, from heart disease to constipation, is being used by Pharmacy students at the University of Bath to help practise diagnostic skills and treating patients. The SimMan 3G, dubbed "Simon" by the students, is a life-sized model that talks, breathes and reacts to medicines in the same way as a real human. He can be examined for blood pressure, heart and lung function, and can even be changed into a female.
System unveiled for regulating anaesthesia via computer
Full ArticleA team of researchers from the Canary Islands has developed a technique for automatically controlling anaesthesia during surgical operations. The new system detects the hypnotic state of the patient at all times and supplies the most appropriate dose of anaesthetic.
Introducing RoSS, a 'flight simulator' for robotic surgery
Full ArticleA collaboration between the Center for Robotic Surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and the University at Buffalo's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has produced one of the world's first simulators that closely approximates the "touch and feel" of the da Vinci robotic surgical system.
Bucknell University professor's work could shed new light on hip surgery
Full ArticleBy its nature, arthroscopic surgery is a procedure that allows surgeons to repair or remove tissue from a joint with minimal disruption to other critical parts. The surgeon inserts instruments and a small camera through tiny portals or incisions, monitoring the instruments' movements on a television screen. The procedure generally presents a lower risk of infection and blood loss, reducing the recovery time for patients. Performing arthroscopic surgery on the hip joint, however, presents more challenges for surgeons than minimally invasive surgery on other joints, noted Emily Geist, Class of '03, and an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Bucknell University.
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Cataract Surgery Trainer teaches residents cataract surgery
Full ArticleThe Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Cataract Surgery Trainer, a virtual training tool which helps to train physicians to perform cataract surgery, has been shown to enhance teaching in cataract surgery when compared to traditional teaching methods. The results of a multi-centre study evaluating the programme's effectiveness as a supplement to traditional teaching tools was published in the February issue of Ophthalmology.
 

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