Powerful computer simulation tools have been developed to assist doctors in diagnosis, pre-operation planning and surgery. So powerful in fact that many of these tools cannot be run efficiently on normal computers. The Grid, however, is much more than a normal desktop - it is a vast interconnected collection of computers, programmes and people. And the IST project GEMSS is harnessing the Grids processing power to place it in the hands of medical practitioners.
The GEMSS project plans to present the first prototype of its Grid middleware at the end of February along with a testbed that will be one of Europes first computing and resource Grids for clinical use, allowing easy access to advanced simulation and image processing tools operating at levels of speed and efficiency that conventional local hospital systems cannot match. Developed by 10 partners from academia and industry, GEMSS (Grid-Enabled Medical Simulation Services) incorporates tools designed by previous European medical projects such as BloodSim, SimBio, COPHIT and RAPT that created effective but complex and computationally demanding aids.
"Simulation and planning tools are difficult to handle and need large amounts of computing resources to be of use and provide output you can trust," explains project coordinator Jochen Fingberg of NEC Europe. "Simulation and image processing tools, such as those incorporated into GEMSS, have been largely underused until now because of that." Simply, they need more IT resources than most hospitals and clinics can afford or accommodate.
Tara Morris | alfa
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