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MOUNTAIN VIEW , Calif., April 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- To greatly enhance clinical treatment and medical research capabilities, with special emphasis on genomics data mining, proteomics data mining and translational medicine, Erasmus Medical Center added server and visualization systems from Silicon Graphics (OTC: SGID) to its hospital and research facility in Rotterdam , The Netherlands . The SGI(R) technology, installed late last year, is used for collaboration and visualization of large amounts of data, appliedin neurosciences, cardiovascular, and cancer fields, as well as monitoring fetal development.
Erasmus University Medical Center (Erasmus MC) has developed 3D volume rendering software, capable of converting 2D medical images to 3D. The software runs in an immersive, interactive environment called I-space, developed at Erasmus MC. For the commercial launch of the I-space model, themedical center selected Barco projectors and Silicon Graphics Prism(TM)visualization systems as image generators to create the four-sided, 3x3x3-metre, 3D world intended for multidisciplinary collaboration.
Because the prototype model at Erasmus MC surpassed even the highest expectations of researchers and clinicians, the medical center spun off a Rotterdam-based company, Crosslinks, which is now beginning to marketI-space to hospitals and medical centers throughout Europe in collaboration with SGI and Barco.
The original I-space at Erasmus MC was developed in close cooperation with medical staff that use the technology regularly for complex diagnoses. WhileI-space, in theory, could be used for various virtual reality applications the proprietary software is specifically targeted to the medical and biologyfields.
"We chose the Silicon Graphics system for I-space because we needed hardware that was both suitable for high-performance computing and also delivered superb graphical capabilities," said Ronald Nanninga, founder and managing director of Crosslinks. "There are eight graphics pipes in thesystem -- you are actually standing inside the data -- so we required avisualization computer that is powerful enough to really do the rendering of the 3D software in a very efficient way, and only SGI had the appropriate solution. When we began working on the development of I-space, we used anolder SGI system, but with this brand new Prism, our performance really improved. Frame rate has gone up from 4 to 15, and that tells you something about how easy it is to move around large data sets, turn them around, and zoom in and zoom out. It's easier to make a diagnosis together with othermedical personnel when the surgical reality is right in front of you, ratherthan seeing it alone, just on a small computer screen."