The months of November and December were busy ones at IBM with a flurry of announcements in hardware, software, services, acquisitions, and strategic alliances. The complete index of IBM Happenings (by year and month) is here. As part of the major focus on a “smarter planet“, IBM is heavily engaged in healthcare both as an information technology and business solutions company and also as an employer.
One project at IBM, announced in November, I found quite interesting. IBM scientists at the company’s Zurich Research Laboratory have created a one-step point-of-care-diagnostic test, based on an innovative silicon chip, that requires a very small sample of blood, is significantly faster, portable, easy to use, and can test for many diseases, including one of the world’s leading causes of death, cardiovascular disease. The quick results can provide a doctor with more time that could be the difference between life and death.
IBM has a track record of improving heatlhcare over many years but with the company’s leadership in nanotechnology there are even more significant breakthroughs likely. The one-step point-of-care-diagnostic test uses a silicon chip roughly 3/4 of a square inch to analyze a tiny sample — 2% of a drop — and determine what “genetic markers” associated with a particular disease the patient may be carrying.
The new diagnostic test that uses capillary forces to analyze tiny blood samples The capillary action of the IBM chip is similar to what happens when dipping a paper towel in a cup of water – the microstructures in the paper fiber enable the towel to absorb the water. The tiny chip contains sets of micrometer wide channels where the test sample flows through in approximately 15 seconds, several times faster then traditional tests.
A company in Begium — Coris BioConcept — believes the microfluidic chip is the next step in the evolution of point of care devices and they are collaborating closely with with the scientists at IBM Research – Zurich to take the innovation to the next level. More details about the project are here.
List of Announcements for November, December 2009
IBM opens analytics center in Washington, D.C.
IBM introduces new offerings for software development
New IBM software enriches online shopping
IBM to build green data centre for Slovak Telekom
IBM launches analytics center in India
IBM tackles smarter water management in Europe
IBM introduces new software for System z
IBM closer to creating computer that simulates the brain
IBM launches consulting service for sustainable assets
IBM scientists reinvent medical diagnostic testing
IBM acquires Guardium
IBM launches London Analytics Solution Center
IBM opens Innovation Center in Manila
Syracuse University, IBM launch green data center
India recognizes IBM for technology that assists the disabled
IBM study addresses the business impact of analytics
IBM introduces new System z Linux solutions
IBM opens cloud computing lab in Hong Kong
IBM, City of Chesapeake build a smarter city
New service helps companies monitor data center health
Fordham, IBM launch analytics curriculum