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Biomedical Supercomputing

Networking the Future

Infrastructure for Telemedicine

[ "Information technology is an untapped resource in the effort to improve the delivery of quality, affordable healthcare for Americans," said Congressman Curt Weldon (R, Pa. 7th Dist.). "This project places our region on the cutting edge, and everyone in the region will benefit from the improved access to healthcare that this initiative will bring." ]


The PSC Dual Boot Cluster

Research Notes
& Highlights, 2000

Infrastructure for Telemedicine

Through a $7 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency grant in April, PSC is collaborating with hospitals in a four-state region (Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey) to develop technologies for networking and archiving of medical-image data. The effort is a pilot project to create technological infrastructure for real-time consultation on patient diagnosis and care among specialists at diverse locations, and to promote regional collaborative research and health education.

The grant supports PSC and researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSM) to collaborate with three other hospitals in a "smart region" consortium called HUBS (Hospitals, Universities, Businesses and Schools). The effort includes several over-lapping projects aimed at creating enabling technologies for secure, reliable and fast "telemedicine."

PSC's superb resources, including hundreds of terabytes of data-storage and high-performance network connectivity, are a keystone of the HUBS initiative. "Our staff scientists and engineers bring unparalleled expertise in the application of these resources," said PSC scientific directors Michael Levine and Ralph Roskies. "This project will improve quality of life in the four-state region and set the pace for similar efforts across the nation."

Overall project management is provided by Science Applications International Corporation, through their Valley Forge, Pa. facilities. Other partners along with PSC and UPSM are Telcordia Technologies (formerly Bellcore), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

In collaboration with Telcordia, PSC networking staff is developing an innovative, high-performance implementation of a technology known as a "virtual private network." The objective is to assure integrity and security of patient data at high levels of network performance. In another effort, called "intelligent archiving," PSC is collaborating with UPSM and Johns Hopkins to create network software that facilitates archival and retrieval of x-rays, PET, MRI and other image data. In a third project (see An Objective View of Cancer), PSC and UPSM are developing search techniques for an archive of pathology images.