IBM and Beijing Goodwill Information and Technology announced the first all-in-one electronic cardiogram management system in China on Aug. 17 to allow doctors to view a patient's ECG (electrocardiography) data remotely in real time using WiFi.
According to Sue Green, IBM's manager for software systems solutions, the partnership with Beijing Goodwill is an example of IBM's strategy to make technologies in medical facilities accessible on smartphones, tablet PCs and other wireless devices.
"Working with companies like Beijing Goodwill, we've found that there's quite a few ways to extend health care beyond the hospital walls," Green told eWEEK.
As part of its Smarter Healthcare initiative, IBM aims to help the medical field achieve better care, fewer mistakes and improved patient choices, as well as doctors' ability to predict and prevent diseases. The initiative also involves sharing data efficiently among doctors, patients and insurers.
The heart of the ECM system is IBM's DB2 database and analytics software, which runs on Big Blue's System x server. IBM has optimized System x to handle patients' ECG data.
The DB2 relational database software allows companies to use advanced analytics to boost medical research, improve diagnosis and treatment, and reduce health care costs, the company said.
The ECM system also includes Beijing Goodwill's Electronic Cardiogram professional applications and medical devices, such as Holter systems, treadmill stress machines and patient monitors.
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death globally, according to the World Health Organization. In addition, the American Heart Association journal "Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes" reported that cardiovascular diseases and death rates will increase by as much as 73 percent in China by 2030.
"Together with IBM, our company is leveraging technology to address the No. 1 disease in China and worldwide," Xia Jun, president of Beijing Goodwill, said in a statement. "The new ECM system will benefit all physicians and patients by helping to improve the management and care of [cardiovascular diseases]."
In May 2009, IBM opened a Healthcare Industry Solutions Lab in China to use IT to tackle the health care challenges in that country.
In addition, IBM recently announced a $100 million investment in health care IT in which medical doctors will work alongside researchers.