Just as electricity is delivered to homes over an electrical grid, computing gridsallow geographically distributed organizations to share applications, data, andcomputing resources. A new model of computing, grids are clusters of serversand other resources joined together over the Internet, using protocols providedby the Globus open source community (Globus.org) and other open technologies,including Linux. Advantages of grid computing for accessing and managingpatient data include fast data retrieval, scalability, and cost savings.
University of Pennsylvania consortium and IBM has developed computing gridfor breast cancer screening based on Grid Technology - scalable NationalDigital Mammography Archive (NDMA).
The challenge was to develop a visionary patient-centric medical record systemthat could capture - from any location - the full range of healthcare files includinghigh-fidelity patient medical images (CT, MRI, mammograms), records, and clin-ical history. This meant building a networked system for electronic data capture of patient records; managing and storing huge files for fast retrieval, comparison, and diagnostic review;and ensuring the security and privacy standards required for patient records including meeting federal and state regulatory requirements.
IBM hardware and software including IBM® eServer, DB2® UniversalDatabase, and GPFS file system, allowed to use the power of Grid computing and tackle above challenges for the benefit of the patients and medical institutions. Currently NDMA provides secure, scalable, diagnostic electronic patient files in under 90 seconds.
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