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DICOM Services Grid from Acuo helps distribute malaria monitoring data in Africa

Acuo Technologies : 06 October, 2008  (Company News)
Acuo Technologies’ DICOM Services Grid is being used in the distribution of timely information monitoring the impact of malaria in Malawi, Africa by Michigan State University.
Due to the fact that the vast majority of malaria patients are children, it is critical to use new technologies to quickly assess the damage malaria does to a child. Physicians now can diagnose and study the affect the disease has on an infected child's brain, something that previously could only be done in an autopsy.

The plight of Malawi's children changed when General Electric's new Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit was installed at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi's largest city. The MRI Scanner captured images and Acuo's DICOM Services Grid rapidly transmitted them to Doctors at MSU over secure connections. The combined technology will let physicians assess the mystery of malaria and effectively deal with a wide range of illnesses before they are untreatable and affect the local population.

The Acuo DICOM Services Grid plays an important roll in receiving the images from the MRI by storing and rapidly sending them to the physicians across the Atlantic. Once received, radiologists evaluate images and provide critical input to the treating physicians. The DICOM Services Grid builds the foundation for a vendor neutral medical imaging grid environment allowing sharing and collaboration regardless of the proprietary systems producing, storing or viewing the images.

Michigan State University will also be using the Acuo DICOM Assisted Migration (ADAM) to move and virtualise data between their existing proprietary archive with their new GE 3.0 Medical Imaging Environment. This new environment employs mirrored EMC CX-340 CLARiiONS providing an automated solution for business continuity.

The deployment of the new technology helps to attract and retain doctors in Malawi. Dr Sam Kampondeni is a success story, trained as a guest radiologist in the MSU Department of Radiology in 2007, he returned to Malawi to treat patients. Dr Kampondeni now sends images to MSU to have fellow radiologists provide valuable and timely assistance seamlessly as if they were in the same hospital. 'With these new systems we will be able to serve dozens more patients each day,' said Dr Kampondeni.

'This will help in so many ways,' Dr Terrie Taylor said - University Distinguished Professor of internal medicine and an osteopathic physician with Michigan State. 'We will use it for the research we do, we'll be able to use it for everyday patients that come through the hospital, and it will help to attract and retain more doctors to Malawi.' DrTaylor spends the rainy season - January through June - working at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, treating malaria patients and conducting research on a disease that kills as many as 2 million children in sub-Saharan Africa every year.

The success was possible through the efforts of James Potchen, an MSU University Distinguished Professor of radiology and chairperson of the department. MSU is looking at expanding the project to other parts of the world.
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