Healthcare
News
3/10/2009
08:38 PM
50%
50%

IBM, Danish Hospital Test 3-D Patient Models In E-Records

Along with the 3-D models, the IBM software includes a semantic search function.

A Danish hospital is testing IBM-developed technology that provides medical staff with a 3-D model of a human body for getting a quick, up-to-date overview of a patient's electronic medical record.

The technology, developed by IBM's Zurich Research Laboratory and tested at Thy-Mors Hospital, lets doctors use a computer to rotate the 3-D representation of the human anatomy and zoom in and out to view needed detail, IBM said Tuesday. The 3-D tool also lets medical staff choose between different views, enabling, for example, a close inspection of organs or the circulatory, muscular, and nervous systems.

Arrows are used to indicate the areas of the body for which medical data is available. Clicking on one of the arrows with a computer mouse provides the pertinent information.

Along with the 3-D models, the IBM software includes a semantic search function. Searching for "heart trouble," for example, will place the words in context to produce results that include terms such as "right ventricle," "radiating pain in left arm," and "ECG" for electrocardiogram. The results are shown graphically on the 3-D model.

Speed in examining patient records is important given the size of Thy-Mors, which has nearly 11,000 in-patient beds and more than 65,000 outpatient visits per year. For example, Dr. Hardy Christoffersen, head of the hospital's surgical outpatient clinic, typically has 15 minutes for a patient interview, examination, and diagnosis, including decisions about the kind of additional treatment that may be required, IBM said. To ensure proper treatment, Christoffersen must also take under consideration the patient's previous ailments and current health status.

"The IBM tool gives me a fantastic, graphic view of the patient's status," Christoffersen said in a statement. "I can see much more information than just what the patient tells me is bothering him or her that day -- information for which I would otherwise have to spend considerable time searching through our current records system."

Kurt Nielsen, director of Thy-Mors, said the IBM test is part of the hospital's overall goal of becoming a more efficient "paperless hospital."

IBM and business partner Nhumi Technologies plan to collaborate on commercialization of the technology.

In the United States, the Obama administration's economic stimulus package, recently passed by Congress, includes about $21 billion for health IT programs. The additional money could help meet a goal set by President Bush five years ago: e-health records for most Americans by 2014.


University of Pittsburgh Medical Center CIO Dan Drawbaugh is also writing the prescription for health care transformation. InformationWeek has published an independent analysis of this CIO of the Year. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Big Love for Big Data? The Remedy for Healthcare Quality Improvements
Big Love for Big Data? The Remedy for Healthcare Quality Improvements
Healthcare data is nothing new, but yet, why do healthcare improvements from quantifiable data seem almost rare today? Healthcare administrators have a wealth of data accessible to them but aren't sure how much of that data is usable or even correct.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.