July 1999

VMW is a monthly Virtual Magazine on Telemedicine and High Performance Computing and Networking for readers interested in computer applications in medical environments. It is produced by an editorial team composed of professionals in publishing and an advisory board with professionals in telemedicine, provides the embedding into the everyday practice and research. You can put the editorial team to work as well. Read about our services and find out about the friendly rates.

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Draw the European card of telemedical activities!

Discover the lively scene of telemedicine related projects, funded by the European Commission:

Special issue with an update on results from European R&D projects, 1999 !

Each year hundreds of European R&D projects produce important results. In this special issue, co-published by the magazines Primeur and VMW, we give an update from a number of projects in the HPCN and medical sectors that were supported within the Esprit or Telematics programmes from the European Commission.

Please, check in at the telemedicine project below:

TeleInViVo, the building of an economically viable telemedical workstation for 3D ultrasound

This special issue is published in conjunction with the ITIS-ITAB 99 event in Amsterdam.

The next issue is planned in November during IST 1999 in Helsinki.
When you want your project results in this issue, please contact the editors of Primeur magazine or Virtual Medical Worlds magazine.

ITIS99logof Visit the website of the second International Conference on the Telemedical Information Society.
Combined ITIS'99-ITAB'99 Conference, April 12-13 1999, Amsterdam.
Full coverage available!

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British set-up of National Eletronic Library for Health envisaged as five-year mission
In 1998, the British Government's Information and Technology Strategy for the National Health Service (NHS), called Information for Health , announced the establishment of a National Electronic Library for Health (NeLH). The concept was defined by the NHS Executive, that has expressed the commitment to make the Primary Care information available from autumn 1999. This Primary Care arm of the NeLH currently is being developed at St George's Hospital Medical School under the leadership of Muir Gray and Simon de Lusignan. It will form one of the principle branches of the NeLH. The aim of the joint NeLH/GPnet project is to improve patient care by facilitating multi-professional involvement in clinical governance by the provision of readily accessible knowledge and know how.

Public health policy in a European context at the Health Forum Gastein
The European Health Forum Gastein, scheduled for October 6th to 9th 1999 will be placed under the slogan of "Creating a better future for health in Europe". This is what the organizers announced in Bad Hofgastein, Austria. It will be the second time that health policy makers meet in the resort in the region of Salzburg to discuss health policy. The Forum is about to become the most important meeting of European health policy makers. This year the social aspects of health care and the consequences of new technologies for the health sector will be discussed.

Two advanced European research and education networks connected to Internet2
NORDUnet and SURFnet, two European research networks, have recently been linked to the next generation high-speed Internet connection, Abilene. This network is already set to interconnect hundreds of universities and research laboratories in the United States. Its fibre optic network spans over 16.000 km and can operate at speeds of up to 2.4 gigabits per second. This new link up will allow European broadband networks to develop faster, since the existing ones only dispose of a fraction of the capacity of the novel Internet2, while they will also enable the US networks to extend their test bed.

Flemish iKAROS project to launch Vaccination database and virtual coaching service for parents
The Flemish government agency "Kind & Gezin" (Child and Family) has developed the IKAROS concept, which stands for Integrated Child Activity Region sUpport System, ICARUS in English. The project aim is to improve the level of preventive child care through faster home visits and to optimize the vaccination degree of the Flemish population conforming to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). This is realized by providing mobile nurses with laptop computers, equipped with a personal database and the IKAROS application. In addition, the team developed the iKAROS on-line strategy, in which "i" stands for the Internet. Two services are currently in the pilot phase, which are the Vaccination database for doctors and iKAROS Home, a virtual coaching system to assist parents with young children.

Beautiful TimTem baby slow but sure to transform into adult Archipelago project
In VMW 's recent June issue, we have reported about a congress that was held from May 22nd to 23th on the island of Tilos in the presence of the Ministers of Greek Government and Territory, all the mayors of Greek islands, as well as physicians and managers of health care facilities. During this meeting, at which more than 500 participants arrived by ship, the results of the TimTem telemedicine project were discussed in the light of the future health care organization on the islands in the Aegean region. The project team from the Post-graduate School of Emergency Surgery operating at the University of Pisa under the lead of Professor Cavina, will try and give TimTem true European wings in the new Archipelago project. This initiative aims at building a real European model able to address health care problems of people in rural and isolated areas.

French cancer research centre René Huguenin selected ATM network to digitize medical files
The Centre René Huguenin is located in Saint Cloud in the western suburbs of Paris. The institution was established in 1959 with the mission to fight against cancer by means of preventive actions, diagnosis, treatment and medical supervision. It also encompasses clinical research, teaching, and public education. In 1996, the French 3Com partner ETDE Réseaux et Communications has installed an Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) backbone solution to enable the institution to pursue the full computerization of the patient files, combining both text and pictures. As a result, doctors have a rapid access to medical data whereas the paperwork has been substantially reduced. Patients also benefit from the new network since physicians take more time now for listening.

In 2010 nearly every organization will have its own petaflop supercomputer
"In 2010 nearly every organization will have its own petaflop supercomputer ". This bold statement was made by Gordon Bell, the first-day key-note speaker at the Mannheim Supercomputer Conference. Gordon Bell, senior researcher in Microsoft's Telepresence Research Group, which is part of the Bay Area Research Center (BARC), forecasted a future, building upon clusters. Companies that currently have 10.000 processors in all the workstations and servers they own, will have 100.000 in 2010; and they will be faster. Clustering these machines will provide tremendous supercomputing power. However, the programming remains the major barrier for most applications.

Building a Petaflop computer from scratch is not that difficult
Building a Petaflop machine, that is thousand times as powerful as the current fastest supercomputer within ten years, is not that difficult when you do not have the constraints by the day-to-day responsibilities inside a computer vendor company. During the evening event at the Mannheim baroque castle, Giacomo Polosa from RCI Europe introduced Steven J. Wallach, the current expert and adviser to Centerpoint Venture Partners. As an experienced former Chief Technology Officer of Convex Computers who has crossed many supercomputing bridges, Mr. Wallach took the audience on an adventurous trip with the task to build a Petaflop machine from tabula rasa in ten years time. A both instructive and envisioning exercise into the future of supercomputing.

Supercomputer centres rapidly evolve towards megastores of Teraflops and Petabytes
As the director of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, Dr. Horst Simon is facing a new fundamental transition in the role of the supercomputing centre after a first earth quake in the mid 1990s. Having only recently succeeded in the adoption of innovative intellectual services which meet the enhanced operational complexity of the supercomputer centre due to the birth of parallel distributed memory machines built from commodity parts, the management has to integrate the impact of three new technological realities

US National Institute of Justice to release report on telemedicine in prison
Prisons which implement telemedicine systems instead of the conventional in-prison care could save about $102 per patient encounter. This was stated in a report by the American National Institute of Justice (NIJ), that was issued in March 1999 under the title Telemedicine can reduce correctional health care costs: an evaluation of a prison telemedicine network . The study has been conducted during the period between September 1996 and December 1997. Four federal prisons were involved in the research. The major objective of the project was to test the feasibility of remote telemedical consultations in prisons as well as to assess the financial impacts of implementing telemedicine in other prison systems.

Internet2 plays role as test bed for new applications to speed up the current Internet
Internet2 is not, as yet, a commercial successor to the Internet. It has been running since October 1996 as a network between several United States universities, with links to European educational networks. The main aim has been to develop and test major systems, necessary to enhance the existing Internet. These include the new version of the Internet Protocol, called IPv6, and a couple of specific applications areas, such as digital video and distributed storage. Those are valuable areas in which present Internet performance needs to be enhanced if business use of the distributed, Internet-based systems is to develop fully.

Integrated mobile telemedical systems: current status and future prospects
At the first day of the comprehensive InterMed'99 event in Canada Professor Robert Istepanian from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom held a lecture on the subject of hybrid signals processing technologies for the next generation of wireless telemedicine systems. VMW Magazine kindly would like to thank Professor Istepanian for providing us with an abstract of the issues which were tackled in his presentation.

Digital medical archive in psychiatric unit to save millions of documents
The psychiatric facility Veldwijk in Ermelo, The Netherlands, currently is handling the digital storage of all documents and forms with relation to the treatment cycles of its patients. The number of documents amounts to approximately one million written pieces a year. Veldwijk is the first Dutch hospital switching to digital storage on a large scale. Before, the Medical Center Apeldoorn has experimented with digital medical storage but it never came to on-line consultation of the scanned documents within the different hospital departments. The health care sector decided not to follow the project in Apeldoorn. Perhaps, the new Veldwijk experience will change the minds of Dutch health care professionals.

ATM weaves powerful web between Colorado University Hospital and remote facilities
The University Hospital of Colorado is using a new-generation, enterprise 3Com ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)/Ethernet network to enhance care in more than 325.000 patient visits each year. The 3000-user network also is improving instruction for nearly 800 University of Colorado medical students and residents, who receive most of their medical training at the hospital. By converging voice, video and data services, the high-speed network permits the hospital to introduce a wealth of groundbreaking health care and administrative applications. Caregivers now have instant access to X-ray, CatScan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), ultrasound as well as cardiology images, allowing them to expedite treatment decisions in many cases from remote locations.

Latest HP patient monitor generation measures all what's inside and connects to all that's outside
The Medical Products Group of the Hewlett-Packard Company has enhanced its flagship patient monitoring system, the HP Viridia CMS 2000 series, with new measurements and optimized connectivity, flexibility, and integration with a variety of patient bedside devices. As a result, the novel Viridia Component Monitoring System 2000 family includes a wide range of advanced monitoring capabilities and features models designed specifically for adult, neonatal and paediatric patients, as well as for the anaesthesia environment. The latest functions can be incorporated into any CMS patient monitor via software and hardware updates.

Virtual Operating Room to benefit both teaching and education purposes
On August 17th 1998, the world's first Internet broadcast of real time interactive open heart surgery was performed at the Providence Seattle Medical Center. At this moment, the Virtual Operating Room was born. The broadcast was completed without any need for satellite down-linkage, the downloading of software or hardware materials or any other high technology applications. Requirements to view the surgery as a seamless video stream included a PC, a web browser, RealPlayer Plugin software, and a high speed Internet access line. Live interactive surgical broadcasts have been taken place multiple times since the initial one. Among the viewers were patients, health care providers, physicians, medical device industries and institutions, and governmental representatives.

Hospital therapists to experiment with Virtual Reality techniques for burn pain control
At the University of Washington (UW) Harborview Burn Center, Hunter Hoffman, a research scientist at the UW Human Interface Technology (HIT) Laboratory, is forming a team with psychologist David Patterson, UW associate professor of rehabilitation medicine. Together, they developed an innovative pain management programme with use of virtual reality as a new way to help reduce burn pain to a more tolerable level, by immersing burn patients, particularly children and teenagers, into a VR environment during wound care and physical therapy. The interdisciplinary research team has already received grants from the National Institute of Health, the Washington Technology Center, and the International Firefighters Association.

Patients bridge home and hospital with Beth Israel Deaconess's Cancer CareLink
Patients who have to receive bone marrow transplants at the Cancer Department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center can now take advantage of high-tech bedside computing resources which help them keep in touch with their families and connect to Internet resources. The Cancer CareLink constitutes a welcome communication tool to bridge the distance with the outside world.

HBS International named 1999 Emerging Eastside Business by Bellevue Chamber of Commerce
HBS International Inc., the renowned provider of outcomes management systems to the health care industry, has been awarded the 1999 Emerging Eastside Business Award at the 10th Annual Emerging Business Awards, sponsored by the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes the superior performance of an Eastside business. Judges selected HBSI for this award based on its three-year revenue growth rates, leadership strength, and ability to recognize and seize market opportunities.

DICA to introduce ISDN encryptor family and "IFRAD" ISDN-to-Frame Relay converter at Supercomm'99
DICA Technologies Inc., a company dedicated to enhancing ISDN applications and services globally, presented a new product family of easy-to-use, affordable security tools for applications, such as telemedicine, tele-banking, videoconferencing, and other ISDN communications at this year's edition of the Supercomm exhibition. On the same occasion, the company also displayed its novel "IFRAD" ISDN-to-Frame Relay converter. With "IFRAD", customers are able to use frame relay to support ISDN applications, while service providers can deliver ISDN to remote areas via existing frame networks.

MAYANet in Guatemala to receive satellite Internet backbone services for videoconferencing and telemedicine
Telscape International Inc. has started to supply satellite-based Internet services in Guatemala, as the initial step in its strategy to provide an array of value-added backbone services to corporate and private-sector customers throughout Central and South America. As an essential part of this initiative, Telscape, by means of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Interlink Communications Inc., will offer satellite-based Internet access, telemedicine and videoconferencing services, for Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia or "MAYANet", the National Science and Technology Organization for the public and private sector in Guatemala.

Healtheon portal to feature key information from U.S. Pharmacopeia and Physicians' Desk Reference
Healtheon Corporation, a provider of advanced Internet-based solutions for the health care industry, and Thomson Healthcare Information Group, a company which offers health care information and research tools, recently have signed an agreement to link health consumers and health care providers to reliable information on medications over the Internet.

GE Medical Systems to fetch in medical software technology with Applicare Medical Imaging
GE Medical Systems has acquired Applicare Medical Imaging, a Dutch privately-held leader in the $1.2 billion global market for systems for the archiving and transmitting of electronic medical images and information. Analysts estimate that the market for these systems is growing at about 20% per year. Financial terms of the transaction were not released.

WorldCare to launch Internet-based telemedicine services in Venezuela
WorldCare Limited, a global industry provider of international telemedicine services, technology and insurance, has announced that its subsidiary, WorldCare International Limited, has joined with General de Seguros, S.A., one of the largest insurance companies in Venezuela to form Corporacion WorldCare Venezuela, C.A., in order to promote telemedicine services country wide.

Second call for papers: Special T-ITB Issue on Mobile Telemedicine and Telehealth Systems
We hereby repeat the call for papers on behalf of the renowned publication IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine . This call is launched by Dr. Robert S.H. Istepanian, as editor of the Special T-ITB Issue on Mobile Telemedicine and Telehealth Systems, to appear in March 2000.

Canadian InterMed'99 event hosts ten shows under one roof
From June 21st to 23rd, the Digital Group of Telehealth Companies organized InterMed'99, a major international medical and health care event and exhibition. In Toronto, health care industry representatives from all over the world, were able to participate in no less than ten distinct sector related programmes under one roof. The organizers welcomed over 15.000 health care professionals, general practitioners, nurses, buyers, distributors, and staff people from hospitals and institutions from 45 countries, and over 700 exhibitors from 20 countries during this giant three-day event.

Israel recently connected to TEN-155 pan-European research network
The pan-European research network TEN-155 expanded into a new geographic dimension when the first production traffic flowed between Israel and TEN-155 on May 21st 1999. The Israel Internet-2 network, which is an extension of the IUCC, the national university network of Israel, will mainly serve Research and Development projects. MACHBA/IUCC is the first Southern Mediterranean university network to join the 22 European national university networks connected to TEN-155.

New Virtual Environment Technologies Centre hosts Fakespace family of immersive visualization display systems
Last June, the Virtual Environment Technologies Centre (VETC) has opened in London, Ontario, as one of Canada's first major virtual reality facilities. The VET Centre has been built under contract with the Integrated Manufacturing Technologies Institute. The IMT Institute is a division of the Canadian government's National Research Council (NRC). VETC is intended for use by the discrete product manufacturing industry. Fakespace company was commissioned by the NRC to develop and install a number of projection-based immersive display systems at the VETC. Designed to make Canadian manufacturing companies more competitive in international markets, the facility will also be used for such projects as plant design and layout, urban development, large construction projects and medical research.

Freshly released DataCaptor Version 2.0 enables simplified and rapid medical device connectivity
Capsule Technologie has released DataCaptor Version 2.0, a data acquisition software for medical information systems. DataCaptor makes use of ActiveX and MS Distributed Component Object Module to recuperate data in real time from medical devices and integrate it seamlessly into Windows-based compatible applications.

Web Correspondent to run as backbone of European Medicate telemedicine infrastructure
Recently, a European Union supported secure messaging service for telemedicine has been unveiled which is designed to form the backbone of a pan-European remote diagnosis system.