IBM's Blue Spruce technology enables Web collaboration in iTel's iTelepsych service and research on COPD at the National Institutes of Health.
has donated its Project Blue
software code to two health initiatives to enable real-time Web
Spruce will allow for cobrowsing and online consultations in iTel's
iTelepsych.com telehealth platform and also provide the infrastructure for a
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) research study, called COPDGene,
at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
a server and client software using a Web plug-in architecture, Blue Spruce is
IBM's telepresence technology that allows multiple parties to collaborate in
simultaneous online video chats and update content in Web browsers on a PC or
iPad in real time (called cobrowsing).
and patients will be able to communicate online in joint Web sessions,
according to David Boloker, chief technology officer of Emerging Technologies
, mental health
professionals meet with patients in video conferences. On the site, clinicians
can view data as well as brain images and lab results. In addition to the iTel
platform incorporating Blue Spruce, doctors and patients can communicate using
Skype, Boloker told eWEEK
biggest draw was the ability to do cobrowsing and document sharing," Dr.
Eric Greenman, founder and CEO of iTel, told eWEEK
iTelepsych.com, iTel is looking for total mobility, Greenman said. Patients can
even log into iTelepsych.com from remote areas such as public parks, Greenman
helps doctors easily establish a practice with patients who are not able to
leave their homes or attend typical in-office appointments," he said.
"Now, with IBM Project Blue Spruce, people can access the mental health care
they need even if they cannot come to a doctor's office."
addition to consultations, integrating Blue Spruce into the telehealth platform
allows doctors to capture billing codes and information such as the length of
the session, Greenman said.
a need to frequently switch permissions or screens, the collaboration features
of iTelepsych.com provide an alternative to Cisco's WebEx, according to
Greenman. iTelepsych.com consultations also comply with the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
, he said.
telehealth sessions, Blue Spruce can even sense the position, movement, voice
and actions of participants and transfers this information to other participants,
IBM reports. iTelepsych.com also has a recording feature, so physicians won't
lose physician instructions.
plans to take iTelepsych.com live within one to two months and be running on an
iPad 2 by the first quarter of 2012.
is a growing trend as doctors are able to provide care to patients living far
from hospitals, especially in rural areas. American Well, Kaiser Permanente and
the Veterans Health Administration are a few of the parties offering telehealth
a division of IMS Research, forecasts the market for telehealth services to hit
$6.28 billion by 2020.
IBM has also donated Blue Spruce code to the Dojo Foundation to create Dojo
Foundation's Open Cooperative Web (OpenCoweb
Framework. The Dojo Foundation
nonprofit foundation that performs open-source projects, while OpenCoweb
is using OpenCoweb to analyze electronic health records (EHRs) of 10,000
patients with COPD. With the data studied during the COPDGene project, the NIH
hopes to gain a better understanding of how COPD develops and its genetic
causes, IBM reports.
announced the new implementations of Blue Spruce by iTel and NIH on Oct. 3.
While iTel is hosting its own Blue Spruce server, IBM is hosting the platform
for the NIH. IBM is looking to expand Blue Spruce past browser plug-ins to be a
native app supporting Windows 7, Mac OS and iOS.