„Grand Prix“ of IT for Fraunhofer IGD
Press-Information No. 49
Telemedical Project Wins „Grand Prix“ of the Information Technologies
The telemedicine application „TeleInViVo“ is one of three innovative developments which were awarded the „Grand Prix for European Information Technologies 2001“ in Nice on 7th November. As representative of his team the project leader and initiator Prof. Georgios Sakas of Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics IGD was handed over the trophy by EU commissioner Erkki Liikanen. The three European „Oscars of the Information Technology“ are the highest award in this sector in Europe and range among the most renowned technology awards worldwide. They are endowed with 200,000 Euros each.
During the award ceremony Liikanen and the jury recognized the interdisciplinary project being a „prominent example of a European and international co-operation combining technological innovation, market potential, and social components in an ideal manner“.
The special features of „TeleInViVo“ are: The portable telemedical working station integrates a 3D ultrasound device and a PC which can exchange data via any telecommunication channel. It is contained in a light aluminium suitcase. Whereever in the world physicians or medical staff can scan ultrasound resp. radiological records of patients and transform them into threedimensional volume data. These threedimensional patient data are sent to an expert who can be thousands of kilometres away. The compressed dataset can quickly and easily be transferred via Internet, LAN, ISDN, analogous modem, satellite or even GSM handy. If necessary, the two physicians can then meet for a network teleconsultation to examine the threedimensional image data. When there are e.g. conspicuous findings in the liver of a patient, the expert can diagnose if it is a matter of parasites, a tumour or a cyst. The expert has all volume data on his computer, therefore he can generate new intersection images, zoom in on certain areas or dye them to localize pathological alterations. The patients need not be anxious about the security of their data: Dongels at the PC, cryptographic methods, encoded wavelet compression and anonymous, not person-related ids protect the sensitive data against unauthorized access during the transfer and to the physicians‘ computers.
„We have won the prize not only for the developed technology but also for presenting a mature solution which has proved its worth in six countries on three continents“, Prof. Georgios Sakas said shortly after the award. The „TeleInViVo“ project initiated and directed by Fraunhofer-IGD started in 1997 and has already passed the hardship test on three continents. For over a year now the field trials with the telemedical workstation are running. In a first phase physicians from the Azores and the Canary Islands sent their patient data to the experts from the radiology department of the Coimbra university clinic, Portugal and examined them online. Shortly after, four more workstations were installed in Uganda and Kazakhstan in co-operation with UNESCO. Now that local physicians can confer with the experts of the Coimbra university clinic, even in Aralsk – a city without airport and a two-day journey by train from Almaty – patients enjoy a professional medical care. With the teleconsultation the local physician is not only enabled to make more precise diagnoses and to select the best treatment possible, by doing this he is continuously trained by the expert. In late 2000, an estimated 1,000 successful consultations will be performed altogether at the ten „TeleInViVo“ sites- about 96 per cent of the cases could be jointly solved by the physicians.
The telemedical workstations are, however, not only particularly suitable for remote regions, islands, crisis or disaster areas as well as for military purposes. They will also be able to secure the medical care on ships, long-distance flights, oil platforms, research stations and other remote sites. Many other applications are also possible, since especially threedimensional ultrasound measurements can be universally used in diagnostics: They are harmless, inexpensive and can also be performed with a portable device. The prototype presently has the size of a pilot’s case and costs about 40,000 marks. Prof. Sakas has calculated that the size of the station could be reduced to the dimension of a somewhat larger labtop and the fabrication price will drop to 10 to 15 thousand marks.
The awarded telemedical station will be presented in hall 14, booth E49-F60 at the Medica 2000 fair which will take place in Düsseldorf from 22nd to 25th November.
Fraunhofer-IGD in Darmstadt has realized the TeleInViVo project in co-operation with the Center for Computer Graphics (ZGDV) in Darmstadt, Germany and the Centro Computaçao Grafico in Coimbra, Portugal. Further partners of the consortium are: UNESCO in Paris, France; DSC Dr. Stärk Computer GmbH in Langen, Germany; PIE Medical in Maastricht, Netherlands; CATAI, Teneriffa, Spain; Hospitais da Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal; and Hospital de Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal.
Detailed information about the TeleInViVo project as well as links to the consortium partners can be found under:
With the „Information Society Technologies Prize“ (IST Prize) the „European Council of Applied Sciences and Engineeering“ (Euro-CASE) -this time with representatives of 26 European countries- awards innovative pioneer developments and applications in the information and communication technology. The prize, sponsored and supported by the European Commission, has been awarded for the sixth time this year. The Executive Jury composed of highly respected European experts sets high standards for the „IT-Oscars“: They demand not only a high-level technical quality and innovative content, also the potential market value, the prospective creation of new jobs, and the express public gain is judged. Among the winners of the past years are companies like Intershop, Teles, and Nokia. The telemedical project „TeleInViVo“ is one of 20 awarded applications out of proposals submitted by more than 200 companies and institutions. Among these 20 winners the jury selected in a second step 3 projects which received the „Grand Prix for European Information Technologies“, in Nice on 7th November. The three prize-holders are: Fraunhofer-IGD for the „TeleInViVo“ project, the British company MINEIT Software for the product „Easyminer“, and the company XiTact from Switzerland for the product „XiTact – Virtual Patient“.
Please find more detailed information about the IST Prize and the winners under: http://www.it-prize.org
The international network of Computer Graphics (INI-GraphicsNet) consists of the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics (IGD), the Computer Graphics Center (ZGDV), both situated in Darmstadt and Rostock and the Darmstadt University of Technology Department of Computer Science Interactive Graphics Systems Group (GRIS). The network comprises of further institutions such as the Fraunhofer Application Center for Computer Graphics in Chemistry and Pharmaceutics (AGC) situated in Frankfurt, the Fraunhofer Center for Research in Computer Graphics (CRCG) in Providence, Rhode Island, the Fraunhofer Centre for Advanced Media Technology (CAMTech), Singapore and the Centro de Computação Gráfica (CCG) in Coimbra, Portugal.
It employs a staff of over 300 and more than 450 assistant researchers at five locations. With a budget of 70 million DM it is the major research alliance in the field of computer graphics world-wide.