The American Diabetes Association is using Gateway Inc.s grid program to run a compute-intensive application designed to accelerate diabetes-related research.
The association, based in Alexandria, Va., is running the Archimedes software application, which Richard Kahn, chief scientific and medical officer for the ADA, called "the Sims City of health care." Using the program, the association can create an environment with any number of variables—such as doctors, hospitals, rooms, costs, patients and treatments—and run numerous what-if scenarios as a way of researching multiple aspects of diabetes care and running clinical studies.
For example, researchers can plug in data involving patients with high blood pressure and diabetes, and then run various scenarios through the application to determine the benefits or disadvantages of administering disparate levels of medicine, Kahn said. They could find out the impact on patients, inventory, hospital costs and doctors fees, he said.
"Or what if we give people aspirin and call it a day?" Kahn said of one possible scenario. "What would happen?"
On a single system, it would take 100 hours to run each scenario through the application, he said. Using Gateways grid, that has been cut down to 30 minutes, and Kahn said he expects to get it below five minutes within a matter of week.
Gateway launched its grid program in December. The Poway, Calif., company is tying together the approximately 7,000 display computers in its 192 Gateway Country Stores across the United States via United Device Inc.s Grid MP Alliance platform. The grid is designed to enable users to tap the power of the PCs to run compute intensive applications, paying for the amount of time using the grid.
Gateway officials say the grid can produce more than 11 teraflops—or trillion floating point operations per second—at capacity.
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