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IBM LogoThe 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.

The new IBM Analytics Solution Center in Washington, D.C. is dedicated to helping federal agencies and other public sector organizations extract actionable insights from their data.

IBM introduces new offerings for software development

IBM Rational Software Delivery Services for Cloud Computing include a set of ready-to-use application lifecycle management tools for developing and testing in the IBM Cloud.

New IBM software enriches online shopping

IBM is introducing WebSphere Commerce 7, a new release of its industry-leading e-commerce software that enhances the shopping experience for mobile consumers.

IBM to build green data centre for Slovak Telekom

The data centre will enable Slovak Telekom to meet increasing demand for data centre services from technology hosting, through business continuity to disaster recovery.

IBM launches analytics center in India

The new IBM Business Analytics Center of Competency in Bangalore will focus on a number of core areas vital to successfully applying analytics to industry problems.

IBM tackles smarter water management in Europe

IBM has established a Center of Excellence for Water Management to use high performance computing to monitor and forecast the impact of climate change and severe weather conditions on water resources.

IBM introduces new software for System z

IBM announced 10 new software products to help companies lower application management costs by optimizing the System z mainframe for more workloads.

IBM closer to creating computer that simulates the brain

IBM announced significant progress toward creating a computer system that simulates and emulates the brain’s abilities for sensation, perception, action, interaction and cognition.

IBM launches consulting service for sustainable assets

Sustainable Asset Analytics is designed to help clients manage real estate, supplier performance, carbon data collection and analysis and asset lifecycle maintenance.

IBM scientists reinvent medical diagnostic testing

IBM scientists have created a one-step point-of-care-diagnostic test that is significantly faster, portable and can test for many diseases, including cardiovascular disease.

IBM acquires Guardium

IBM has acquired Guardium, a market leader in real-time enterprise database monitoring and protection.

IBM launches London Analytics Solution Center

Leveraging its London location and IBM’s deep industry expertise the centre’s initial mission will be to focus on the UK financial services sector.

IBM opens Innovation Center in Manila

The Manila IBM Innovation Center will help support new opportunities by providing technical experts and hands-on support to test and validate users’ software technologies.

Syracuse University, IBM launch green data center

IBM, Syracuse University, with partners celebrated the construction of its new Green Data Center, a showcase of world-class innovations in advanced energy-efficient information technology.

India recognizes IBM for technology that assists the disabled

IBM has received several prestigious awards in India on World Disability Day, recognizing the company’s work to improve the lives of those with disabilities.

IBM study addresses the business impact of analytics

Entitled “Breaking away with business analytics and optimization,” the study is thought to be the first major worldwide inquiry into the actual business impact of analytics.

IBM introduces new System z Linux solutions

The new IBM Enterprise Linux Server provides a full array of components to help organizations consolidate hundreds of Linux virtual servers on a single server using z/VM.

IBM opens cloud computing lab in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Cloud Computing Laboratory will serve as a world class development facility for Web 2.0, cloud mail and collaboration for businesses of all sizes around the globe.

IBM, City of Chesapeake build a smarter city

IBM and the City of Chesapeake, VA, announced a partnership to build more intelligent systems to better serve its residents as part of a city-wide capital improvement project.

New service helps companies monitor data center health

IBM Tivoli Live Monitoring Services, delivered on the IBM cloud, helps companies manage the health and performance of their I.T. resources.

Fordham, IBM launch analytics curriculum

Fordham University and IBM are collaborating on a new business analytics curriculum to help prepare college students for careers in key industries.