Health ICT Innovation Abounds! An opportunity to show your mojo

IMAG0227This morning I find myself in Minneapolis.  Although the flight from Seattle is little more than 3 hours long, the climate is worlds apart.  Weather forecasters are predicting the coldest day and night of the year with daytime temperatures hovering below zero and nighttime temps in the negative teens.  With the wind chill factored in, experts say that exposed skin can freeze within 10 minutes.  So, I guess I won’t be taking a walk in the park across the street from the St. Paul Hotel like I did the last time I was here.

I came to Minneapolis at the invitation of Medtronic Corporation.  Today at Noon I’ll be doing a keynote for executives and scientists at Medtronic about the work we are doing around the world to improve health and healthcare delivery with ICT.  Medtronic is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-tech medical devices and surgical supplies so there is some natural synergy between our two companies.

And speaking of technology, I wanted to share a video produced by my colleagues at Vectorform.  You may recall a while back on HealthBlog I shared information on work we are doing to improve the processing and “electronic cleansing” of CT virtual colonoscopy images.  To get a little techy, our researchers developed a GPU-based rendering engine with a state-of-the-art volumetric renderer. It can run either on a server simultaneously servicing multiple thin clients, or on a local workstation. The technology was originally developed for Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group. It is compatible with Server 2003, Server 2008, XP, Vista and Windows 7.

Now our partner, Vectorform, has released a video to demonstrate how this works in a multi-touch Windows 7 environment with PC’s, Windows 7 slates and even Windows Phone 7.  Take a look at how the 3D image viewer allows fly through, touch navigation of images from a virtual colonoscopy.  Pretty cool!

3D image rendering fly-through with touch navigation

And while we are on the topic of cool, how would you like to demonstrate your mojo to the world?  Our Microsoft Azure DataMarket team and colleagues at Practice Fusion are sponsoring a contest called-- Analyze ThisThe challenge is to analyze a imagefree medical record dataset from Microsoft Azure DataMarket and Practice Fusion to answer some of the biggest healthcare questions in the US today. Use the de-identified data however you’d like: visualize healthcare trends, find adverse drug reactions, chart chronic diseases, mashup the results with other Azure data or build an app. Basically, pick a pressing healthcare question and answer it using the tools provided by Microsoft and Practice Fusion.

Contests sponsors say, “We’re looking for the wow factor. Focus on data visualization to create healthcare studies and powerful apps built around the free dataset”.  So put together a team and get going!  For more information on how to register click here—Analyze This!  Your team could win $5,000 and a ticket to Health 2.0 in San Diego to do a live demo on stage.  See the registration site for full details and contest rules.  The deadline for submissions is February 28th.

Now, off to see my colleagues at Medtronic.  Make this day a good one!

Bill Crounse, MD           Senior Director, Worldwide Health          Microsoft

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