IBM today announced that the company is donating new software code to help health care and other industries work on shared content in real-time, on the Web. The code is from IBM Project Blue Spruce and will be donated to the Dojo Foundation's Open Cooperative Web Framework (OpenCoweb).
Developed in the IBM labs, Project Blue Spruce allows people to simultaneously interact and update content in real-time via a web browser on computers and the Apple iPad and includes video chat. For example, using Project Blue Spruce, a sales rep could in a browser conduct a video chat with a client while they complete an online sales form together.
Today, researchers for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are using the IBM code to help analyze health records of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPDGene).
"The online system we've been using on the COPDGene patients is exciting and extremely impressive," said James D. Crapo, MD and COPDGene executive committee member. "With the online collaboration capabilities we now have at our fingertips, we're in constant communication and are uncovering key trends that will help us to better understand the disease."
iTel Companies, Inc. ( iTel) has created a mental health offering called iTelepsych.com. This customized telehealth solution uses IBM Blue Spruce Project code and allows patients to virtually meet and communicate with mental health providers via HIPPA-compliant video conferencing for real-time medical treatment from any location with an internet connection. In addition, medical professionals can expedite critical decision making by simultaneously manipulating data and collaboratively discussing brain images and lab results. iTelepsych.com can be customized for individual healthcare providers, and can provide a cohesive experience for the patient as the portal to HIPPA compliant telehealth consultations.
"iTelepsych.com helps doctors easily establish a practice with patients who are not able to leave their homes or attend typical in-office appointments. Now, with IBM Project Blue Spruce, people can access the mental healthcare they need even if they cannot come to a doctor's office," said Eric Greenman, MD, founder and chief executive officer, iTel.
IBM technology and the OpenCoweb Framework are a key component of the system utilized by COPDGene® investigators, correlating clinic and medical imaging findings to increase understanding of the disease processes and the underlying genetic factors. COPDGene collaborators from around the globe can review and compare the clinical data and CT scan images of more than 10,000 individuals.
The system provides access to selected cases in real-time. Through graphic representations, the investigators are able to study outlying cases and select cases for further study in order to identify the features and genetic factors that influence the development of specific abnormalities seen in patients with COPD. The cooperative web methodology of the OpenCoweb Framework increases the data available to researchers and provides tools for data analysis. This has decreased repetitive requests for the same raw data from multiple individuals and opens new possibilities for data mining by the researchers.
"IBM believes an ongoing commitment to open source and cooperative applications is a critical component for building a smarter, healthier planet," said David Boloker, chief technology officer, Emerging Technologies, IBM. "We are pleased to open code and drive innovation in partnership with the Dojo Foundation Project in an effort to streamline and enhance research and real-time interactive analysis of participant data."
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