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COPDGene®: Enabling collaborative medical research with OpenCoweb

The COPDGene® Study is one of the largest studies ever to investigate the underlying genetic factors of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD. This National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) funded ($36M) multi-institutional study of past and current smokers to identify the genetic factors that control the development and progression of COPD. The ultimate goal is to translate the findings from this cohort into new therapies personalized for specific subtypes of COPD.

COPD is a very dangerous disease: occuring in 10-20% of smokers, COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Of the top ten causes of death, COPD is the only one that has been steadily increasing over the past decade and, as such, is one of the most devastating disease epidemics currently evolving in the United States--and one researchers are keen to defeat.

Breast cancer patient search using IBM's COPDGene Explorer for the iPad
Breast cancer patient search in IBM's COPDGene Explorer for the iPad

As part of IBM's commitment to Smarter Healthcare technologies, the team explored how IBM technology could be leveraged to help researchers tackle this immense project. One answer: allowing researchers the ability to collaborate in ways they've not previously been able to accomplish.

The Challenge

Since the researchers participating in the study are located all around the world, the team needed to embrace a rich collaborative plaftorm for discussng patterns during their analysis of patient data. The researchers partnered with IBM to leverage the Open Cooperative Web Framework (OpenCoweb), technology IBM donated ot the open source community and originally from it's emerging technology's Blue Spruce project. OpenCoweb enables web application developers to extend the ubiquitous browser experience in support of simultaneous content interactions among virtual meeting attendees. To meet the needs of its researchers, IBM has work with the COPDGene team to enable content collaboration and decision agility across browser platforms and mobility devices.

teleHealth in action

Real Results

The collaboration between IBM and COPDGene Study researchers yielded a tangible result: the COPD Gene Explorer. Using this tool, researchers from across the planet now have the ability to collaborate in real time using the unique features that OpenCoweb provides: real time high resolution video, ability to share files instantly with all participants, as well as integrating research data directly into the collaborative space. By giving researchers yet another tool to work more effectively together, the COPD Gene Explorer is accelerating medical research by using Smarter Healthcare technologies.

Breast cancer patient data using IBM's COPDGene Explorer, developed using OpenCoweb
Breast cancer patient data using IBM's COPDGene Explorer, developed using OpenCoweb

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By leveraging these technologies, your business could extract information from publicly available sources, internal data sources, and partner resources, and use them to identify patterns, markets, and opportunities to make the sale. In the end, big data can help identify big opportunities for retail. Ready to get started? jStart is. Contact us today.


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