HDS in UTP research pact, sees more opportunity in healthcare
By Goh Thean Eu October 12, 2015
- Traumatic brain injury a serious problem but a ‘silent’ issue
- HDS aims to take Malaysian healthcare industry ‘to the next level’
STORAGE solutions provider Hitachi Data Systems Corp (HDS) believes that its recently-agreed research collaboration into traumatic brain injuries with Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) will open up more opportunity in the Malaysian healthcare sector.
The company already has a presence in the healthcare industry here, HDS Malaysia managing director Wee Kai Teck told a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 9, but this mostly revolved around its hardware products.
With the UTP research agreement under its belt, Wee said he hopes HDS would be able to grow its solutions business in Malaysian healthcare as well, and to also “help take Malaysia’s healthcare industry to the next level.”
The HDS and UTP research collaboration is aimed at improving clinical support for traumatic brain injuries.
The partnership will bring together Hitachi Cloud Services Connection (HCSC)-Healthcare, which HDS touts as “a first-of-its-kind open healthcare cloud platform for analytics,” with UTP’s biomedical image analysis and analytics via its Centre for Intelligent Signal and Imaging Research (CISIR).
The research will involve integrating magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, blood panels and intensive care unit (ICU) data to deliver precise and instant clinical support that can benefit both patients and healthcare professionals, HDS said in a statement.
“The outcome of the research work and analysis, if it’s in the form of intellectual property (IP), will then be shared,” said UTP vice chancellor Dr Abdul Rahim Hashim.
CISIR will also be working closely with HDS and clinical partners from Prince Court Medical Centre, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Malaya to develop new applications for traumatic brain injury patients.
“Because HCSC-Healthcare is based on industry standards, any additional medical data can easily be integrated and analysed throughout the study,” claimed HDS Asia Pacific general manager Johnny Ma.
Neither party would reveal how much they would be investing in the research.
TBI is ‘the silent problem’
According to UTP senior lecturer Dr Eric Ho, there is still a lot of room for improvement in terms of understanding traumatic brain injury or TBI.
“It is the fourth leading cause of death due to road traffic accidents in Malaysia. It is a big problem but also a silent problem because of the lack of awareness.
“Another thing about traumatic brain injury right now is that surgeons just classify them as mild, moderate or severe.
“Is that the best way to classify traumatic brain injury? Probably not, because we are seeing a lot of these mild injuries deteriorating very quickly within two years,” said Dr Ho.
He said that one of the reason UTPs, which has been looking for a solutions partner for more than a year, chose HDS is that its solution is flexible and allows the university to work with various vendors.
“We are looking at images and signals to provide us with feedback, and additional information for us to better understand traumatic brain injury,” said Dr Ho.
“For us to do that, it is not just sitting down and run experiments – we also need IT infrastructure and a data infrastructure.
“This is also why we need big data analytics. We need to accumulate data from a variety of sources, like MRIs, CT scans, blood analysis, and patient demographics and background.
“This is a lot of data. To extract all of these, we need a very powerful computing system. And we need a flexible computing system to aggregate all these data,” he added.
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