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IBM Opens New 3D Virtual Healthcare Island on Second Life

Interactive environment displays IBM’s vision for consumer-driven healthcare

ORLANDO, FL - 24 Feb 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) debuted at HIMSS®08 its newest island in Second Life: IBM Virtual Healthcare Island.  The island is a unique, three-dimensional representation of the challenges facing today’s healthcare industry and the role information technology will play in transforming global healthcare-delivery to meet patient needs. 

The island supports the strategic healthcare vision that IBM released in October 2006, entitled, Healthcare 2015: Win-Win or Lose-Lose, A Portrait and a Path to Successful Transformation.  The paper paints a picture of a Healthcare Industry in crisis – of health systems in the United States and many other countries that will become unsustainable by the year 2015.  To avoid “lose-lose” scenarios in which global healthcare systems “hit the wall” and require immediate and forced restructuring, IBM calls for what it defines as a “win-win” option: new levels of accountability, tough decisions, hard work and focus on the consumer.

The IBM Virtual Healthcare Island is designed with a futuristic atmosphere and provides visitors with an interactive demonstration of IBM’s open-standards-based Health Information Exchange (HIE) architecture.  Working with project leads in the U.S., the island was designed and built by an all-IBM-India team.

Starting from the patient’s home, they create their own Personal Health Records (PHRs) in a secure and private environment and watch as it is incorporated into an array of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems that can be used at various medical facilities.  As they move from one island station to the next, they experience how the development of a totally integrated and interoperable longitudinal Electronic Health Record (EHR) is used within a highly secured network that allows access only by patient-authorized providers and family members.

Patient avatars arrive and are welcomed at the Central Park and then visit a Central Information Hub, where IBM’s view of the healthcare industry and the power of information technology to transform it are presented.  An amphitheater on the Hub’s second floor provides an area that can support virtual meetings, complete with a large video screen and accompanying slide presentation on IBM’s HIE architecture and the positive impact that this technology can have in the transformation of the Healthcare Industry.

Visitors can then walk, fly or use transporters to visit the various island stations:

“We are pleased to offer our IBM Virtual Health Island as a tool for our healthcare customers and our worldwide sales force.  The island allows each healthcare stakeholder to envision how the total system can be affected by intercession at each juncture of the healthcare delivery process,” said Dan Pelino, General Manager, IBM Global Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry.  “We believe that the use of our new virtual world provides an important, next-generation Internet-based resource to show how standards; business planning; the use of a secured, extensible and expandable architecture; HIE interoperability; and data use for healthcare analytics, quality, wellness and disease management are all helping to transform our industry. “

IBM’s Healthcare & Life Sciences (HCLS) Industry will continue to develop the new island in months to come.  The island can perform as a virtually “always on” demonstration tool for IBM’s sales personnel.  A video version of the island is also under production.

IBM believes in the significant promise of virtual-worlds technologies far beyond today's usage: the next evolutionary phase of the Internet. IBM is helping clients and partners to conduct business inside virtual worlds and to connect the virtual world with the real world through a richer, more immersive Web environment. 

Second Life is a 3D online world created by Linden Lab, a company founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale, to create a revolutionary new form of shared 3D experience.  Last October, IBM and Linden Lab announced their intent to jointly develop new technologies and methodologies based on open standards that will help advance the future of 3D virtual worlds.

Contact(s) information

Gina Jesberg
IBM Media Relations
Mobile: (203) 545-3186
ginajes@us.ibm.com

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