IBM and i3 Launch New Women's Health Portal - InformationWeek

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IBM and i3 Launch New Women's Health Portal

The site will let women securely access and control their medical information, including digital mammography images stored in the National Digital Medical Archive.

Women across the country will be able to view their own digital mammogram images and manage their health information through a new Web portal launched Friday by IBM and i3 Archive Inc., a joint venture formed three years ago between IBM and the University of Pennsylvania National Digital Medical Archive.

The new site will let women securely access and control their medical information, including digital mammography images stored in the archive.

NDMA started as a federally funded project in the late 1990s for four hospitals and two cancer research teams to store and share digital mammography images. NDMA now includes 24 hospitals in the country and contains more than 1 million digital images for 350,000 women.

The new site features a locator to help women find a local facility that performs digital mammograms or participates in the archive. Women can also provide their own information—such as mammography reports—that can be downloaded into the system and stored in the site. helps women organize the medical records and digital mammography images so that they can be electronically shared with physicians, such as when they seek second opinions for treatments or diagnosis, says Derek Danois, i3 CEO.

Since the archive was launched several years ago, hospitals and radiology centers have been able to access the electronic images, Danois says. "However, technology has reached a level that makes sense to give consumers access" to their information on the archive, as well, he says.

There is a $10 annual fee for consumers to access the archive. Women also have the choice of allowing access to their records and images by researchers, who are studying family occurrences and genetic trends of breast cancer.

The archive is hosted at an IBM facility, says Scott Cleare, medical imaging channel segment executive of IBM Life Sciences. IBM says NDMA data is made available through IBM grid computing using two IBM eServer xSeries systems. Data is cataloged and indexed using IBM's DB2 Universal Database and stored on IBM EXP300 Storage Expansion Units.

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