IT giant Dell will partner with the University at Buffalo to form the Institute for Healthcare Informatics to ease the sharing of medical data among researchers and medical professionals.
will contribute $15 million in computer equipment and services to help
launch an Institute for Healthcare Informatics at the University at
Health care informatics involves using IT to
study and share patient information among health care professionals and
across medical institutions. The practice can lead to better patient
outcomes and reduced medical costs, according to UB.
Founded in 1846, UB is a flagship school in the SUNY (State University of New York) system.
"In partnership with Dell, the goal is for the
UB Institute for Healthcare Informatics to become a national center for
health care data and interpretation of data," Dr. Russell
Bessette, the institute's executive director, wrote in an e-mail to
eWEEK. "This will create new opportunities to grow the city of
Buffalo's biotech industry, create more opportunities for the
university to partner with private business and lead to new state and
federal research projects focused on health care informatics."
Dell chose to work with UB because of its
research on the relationship of blood chemistry and illness, according
to Bessette. "Our method is exciting because it provides an objective
way for health care practitioners to measure illness, the severity of
illness and the costs associated with health care treatments," he
wrote. "Current methods do not allow for such specific
measurements, and so it's difficult to analyze patient health,
treatment and appropriate costs."
The institute will be housed in a
15,000-square-foot space on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC).
Dell will contribute high-powered PCs to the facility.
Sharing medical data will be a key goal of the
institute, and the school will be a focal point for medical informatics
within the SUNY system, according to UB.
"Most important, heath care practitioners can
use this data to track what treatments work best for patients, and this
will improve patient outcomes and reduce costs," Bessette wrote.
Staff at the center will include personnel from
UB, Dell, Buffalo-based technology company CTG and UB Associates, the
university's management-service organization. They'll support the work
of 450 physicians in the UBMD medical practice plans, according to Dell
and UB. The institute will develop data analysis software to help bring
better treatment outcomes for patients. Applications will also include
medical records management.
"With the generous support of Michael Dell, the
UB Institute for Healthcare Informatics will put UB and SUNY on the map
as pioneers of informatics education," SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher
said in a statement.
Eventually, doctors, nurses and pharmacists
across the country will be able to share the medical data for analysis
Dell has a history of collaborating with UB. It installed high-performance computing clusters in UB's Center for Computational Research
in 2002, doubling the university's computing capacity for research.
Dell CEO Michael Dell and UB announced their
partnership in Buffalo on Sept. 23. Although Dell may collaborate with
other universities in the future, the company will focus on UB for now,
according to Colleen Ryan, a Dell spokesperson. "This is where we want
to invest our efforts right now and make sure it really goes well with
our partners at the University at Buffalo," Ryan told eWEEK.
As part of Dell's health care IT efforts
it recently announced that its Android Streak tablet will integrate
with the company's EMR (electronic medical records) and Mobile Clinical