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IBM Develops 3D Technology For Medical Field

March 10, 2009

A patient record software that uses a three-dimensional computer model of the human anatomy has been developed by physicians at Thy-Mors hospital in Denmark in cooperation with IBM.

The new software is expected to help doctors have a better overview of a patient’s history and save hospitals considerable time spent searching through records systems. 

“If you just need to know about the heart, you can click and get straight to the record and get the piece of information that you need,” Kurt Nielsen, the hospital Director, told Reuters by telephone on Tuesday.

“You can get a quick overview of the health history of the patient,” he said.

The software is designed to work with different types of electronic patient records and pulls information from these complex systems to display in a user-friendly interface.

Arrows indicate treated areas on the model of the body, and a mouse click on a specific arrow or body part automatically retrieves the pertinent medical information from the record, including past and current medication and diagnoses.

“We’re going to use it. In the pilot we tried to use it on real patient record systems, and now we will have a clinical pilot. It can be adapted everywhere where you have electronic patient record systems,” Nielsen said.

IBM and business partner Nhumi Technologies will collaborate in the commercialization of the technology and plan to start marketing the tool in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Scandinavia and in other countries through partners.

The doctor-patient dialogue is a tool that is expected to improve by allowing physicians to illustrate relevant parts of the body in the model.

“This we believe is an added important benefit. We think that some of the time saved by the hospital will be used for better dialogue with patients,” said Nhumi Technologies sales director Peter Lundkvist.

IBM researchers worked with Thy-Mors staff from May to December last year to understand better their needs, Lundkvist said.

Last year, Thy-Mors, in West Denmark, was selected as a development partner because the hospital was preparing to purchase a new electronic patient record system.

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