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Breast Cancer Database Provides Faster Access To Patient Records

Grid technology is at the heart of this massive database that holds over a million mammography images.

W. David Gardner

November 18, 2005

2 Min Read

More than one million mammography images have been placed in a massive database by IBM and partner i3 Archive. Accessible to patients and doctors alike, the program was developed under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania.

Unveiled Friday, the MyNDMA (National Digital Medical Archive) is a federally funded project that gives doctors and researchers access to patient records, thereby paving the way to faster diagnosis and treatment.

IBM used its grid computing technology with two IBM eServer xSeries systems in the configuration. Stored on IBM EXP300 Storage Expansion Units, the data has been cataloged and indexed using IBM's DB2 Universal Database.

"Using powerful algorithms, this data can be analyzed to identify abnormalities in an individual patient or evaluated against a larger data set to help researchers understand common traits of the disease, hopefully leading to a cure," said Derek Danois, i3 Archive president, in a statement.

The MyNDMA project enables women across the U.S. to have access to the system and their records, in the process making it possible for them to have more control over their care. For instance, a patient could have easy access to her records when visiting a new doctor for a second opinion.

"Giving these women direct access and control of their medical records isn't just convenient," said Dr. Marisa Weiss in a statement. "It's empowering and can often be critical to the success of their treatment." Dr. Weiss is president and founder of the non-profit organization, breastcancer.org.

The MyNDMA partnership is one of several efforts IBM is making to battle various cancers. Among other projects, Big Blue is partnering with the National Cancer Institute on a grid project for managing biomedical research data and donating $3 million in technology and services to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City for an integrated information management system.

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