The technology uses an avatar -- a 3D representation of the human body -- to allow doctors to visualize patient medical records in an entirely new way. Called the Anatomic and Symbolic Mapper Engine (ASME), this innovative visualization method allows a doctor to click with the computer mouse on a particular part of the avatar "body" to trigger a search of medical records to retrieve relevant information.
"It's like Google Earth for the body," said IBM Researcher Andre Elisseeff, who leads the healthcare projects at IBM's Zurich lab. "In hopes of speeding the move toward electronic healthcare records, we've tried to make information easily accessible for healthcare providers by combining medical data with visual representation, making it as simple as possible to interact with data that can improve patient care."
One thing that needs to improve before this technology could be utilized effectively will be the EHR. Once that is working as required, this technology could be a really exciting advancement in patient information management.