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Research at the IBM Haifa Healthcare Innovation Center gets rave reviews in Europe

IBM Haifa Labs News Center

December 24, 2006

The healthcare activities taking place at the IBM Haifa Research Lab have been garnering attention across Europe in recent months. In mid November, Haifa researchers offered IBM customers a full day seminar in Bologna Italy to explain how today's healthcare systems can be reformed. Boaz Carmeli, Manager of Healthcare and Life Sciences, explained that Haifa researchers have developed a system for storing and accessing clinical data. The system is unique in that it is interoperable and open, yet capable of integrating data from different sources and with different formats. This includes data ranging from information organized in aggregated form, such as personal details or laboratory results, to electrocardiograms, x-rays, ultrasound scans, videos for analyzing pathologies, as well as audio reports created by doctors. Other technologies developed in Haifa include sophisticated paradigms for electronic health records, clinical genomics data,and medical imaging.

More recently, in early December, the IBM Industry Solutions Center in Europe organized a press and analyst event that focused on the need for patient-centric healthcare. Pnina Vortman, Manager of Industry Value Solutions at the IBM Haifa Lab presented an overview of the healthcare research being done by IBM. In her talk entitled 'IBM Research - Making Innovation Count', Pnina discussed efforts such as the Global Pandemic Initiative, designed to used advanced computing and analysis techniques to identify developing epidemics and prevent them from spreading. Another popular topic was IBM’s Interoperable Healthcare Information Infrastructure (IHII), developed to enhance cross-platform accessibility to medical data.

IBM Haifa has been developing expertise in healthcare technologies for over two decades. This year, IBM opened Healthcare Innovation Centers at both the Haifa and Almaden sites to leverage the vast experience of healthcare researchers and provide world class consulting expertise for healthcare organizations. The services offered by IBM Haifa to clients of the center include business and process analysis, definition of customer requirements, architectural planning, and development for complex information technology systems. Technology and consulting from IBM Haifa healthcare experts is already in place at customer sites across the globe, and is now be available from a one-stop-shop to help meet the demands of the healthcare sector.

"The IBM Healthcare Innovation Center integrates research and analytical expertise, offering a wide cross-section of consulting and education services," explains Boaz Carmeli, Manager of Healthcare and Life Sciences at the IBM Haifa Lab. "Our approach is geared towards helping our clients meet their goals and architect their next generation imaging systems."

IBM Haifa researchers work closely with clients to assess their challenges, help identify objectives, and then develop and execute creative solutions to achieve those objectives. "This wealth of experience, backed by IBM’s leading IT and middleware, positions the Haifa Innovation Center as the ultimate choice for customers, clients and partners developing and deploying cutting edge technologies," notes Carmeli.

Some specific projects being addressed at the IBM Haifa Healthcare Innovation Center are:
  • Medical imaging expertise and solutions – IBM Haifa experts have garnered in-depth knowledge of data transfer and network protocols (such as DICOM), imaging and metadata acquisition and manipulation, and life cycle management..
  • Interoperability, information sharing, and patient-centric networks - Researchers at the Haifa Healthcare Innovation Center have developed a comprehensive end-to-end solution for healthcare interoperability. This technology solution currently serves as the foundation for the U.S. National Health Information Network (NHIN) project.
  • Information technology for public health - IBM Haifa researchers are leveraging their knowledge to participate in and coordinate multi-national projects for collecting public health data and information based on open standards such as HL7 CDA. Researchers are currently involved in a collaborative initiative to improve public health and stem the spread of infectious disease.
  • Open, standards-based systems - Healthcare and life science standards play a crucial role in enabling interoperability for advanced data management, even when the information originates in disparate systems. Haifa HCLS researchers have been initiating and leading many of these standards activities over the past years in an ongoing effort to advance the state-of-the-art in medical care.
  • IT solutions for bio-informatics and clinical genomics - Haifa researchers are actively engaged in activities related to bio-informatics, clinical-genomics, proteomics, viral genomics, sequence alignment, and pharmacogenomics. For example, the EuResist project, funded under the EU FP6 program, has Haifa researchers integrating viral genomics with clinical data to develop a European integrated system for clinical management of antiretroviral drug resistance.

For more information on this article, contact Chani Sacharen.


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