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News of the Week - HealthGrid roundup

News of the Week - HealthGrid roundup

Brandenburg Gate. Image courtesy stock.xchng

Last week, Berlin hosted the 7th HealthGrid conference, from 29 June - 1 July. The feeling pervading the event was that the HealthGrid community had progressed a long way - and yet for grids to reach their full promise in the area of health care, a lot of work remains.

"I first participated in the conference three years ago in 2006," said Xin Zhou, a conference presenter and maintainer of the grid infrastructure inside the University of Geneva Hospital. He added, "Back then, we were talking about 'the plan.' Many people then presented what they were going to do; now they are presenting the applications. This represents real progress in the research domain and shows movement towards practice."

Simple intuitive interfaces, appealing to non-specialist users, were an oft-called for commodity. In a demonstration of just such an interface, Tobias Knoch and Nick Kepper shared their GLOBE 3D Genome Browser with the audience. See an edited film of this demo courtesy of the GridTalk team.

Other highlights from the conference include:

  • A keynote by Carl Kesselman, University of Southern California, one of the founding fathers of grid technology.
  • Peter Coveney, University College London, of the Virtual Physiological Human Network of Excellence, spoke about this massive initiative which seeks to create and integrate computer models of the mechanical, physical and biochemical functions of a living human body. Read the related GridCast posting.
  • The best paper prize went to John Ainsworth and Iain Buchan (presented by Buchan) for their paper "Preserving Consent-for-Consent with Feasibility-Assessment and Recruitment in Clinical Studies: FARSITE Architecture."
  • A panel discussion by representatives from the World Health Organization and the National Center of Public Health Informatics (one of three national centers within the Centers for Disease Control) in the US, discussing a new collaboration: a Global Public Health Grid initiative. This initiative will seek to enable global data exchange and collaborative development of globally shareable and interoperable systems, tools and services. Read the related GridCast posting.

To read more about the event, or see pictures from Berlin visit GridCast.org

-Danielle Venton, EGEE

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