IBM Opens European Healthcare Innovation Centre in Spain

IBM Invests 2 Million Euro in Barcelona Healthcare Competency Centre to Develop Solutions for Transforming Healthcare in Europe

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BARCELONA, SPAIN - 03 Jul 2006: IBM is creating a 2 million euro centre in Barcelona to develop innovative technologies and solutions to meet the demands of the European Healthcare sector. The IBM Healthcare Competency Centre will serve as a bridge between IBM Research Labs, IBM business consultants, and healthcare companies and organisations.

Among the objectives of the centre are to create analyses and background information about technology requirements in healthcare and respond to industry needs. This will help accelerate new research discoveries into clinical practice. One of the initial goals is to enable medical staff to access a patient's complete, digitised history and all medical records and scans in near-real time, enabling precise, immediate treatment.

Included among the specific projects the Barcelona centre will cover are:

-- Data conversion from current systems -- primarily paper-based -- to modern IT systems. This will fast-track the development of electronic individual patient histories and medical records. -- Improvement interoperability of heterogeneous systems, organisations and technologies. The inclusion of medical images, such as scans and X- rays, in each electronic medical history will help ensure a uniform standard of service and more accurate diagnosis and treatment. -- Improvement of accessibility to healthcare systems with web based technologies. -- Improvement of privacy and security solutions. -- Development of solutions based on pervasive computing. -- Development of a new model for change management to help manage the availability of resources during the modernisation process.

"IBM is leveraging the capacity and talent in Catalonia, which is fast becoming an international reference in biomedical research and innovation," says José María Joana, IBM GBS Vice President. "The centre will help to boost innovation in the industry across Europe, building on the experience and expertise of our specialised healthcare consultants."

With several thousand specialists working on the development of solutions and services for the healthcare sector worldwide, IBM is deeply engaged in transforming healthcare. IBM is enabling innovations in medical research and life sciences in areas from cancer to AIDS/HIV; helping the pharmaceutical industry and related companies discover and test new treatments; and advancing how healthcare is delivered, managed, measured and personalised.

IBM has also pledged royalty-free access to its patent portfolio for the development and implementation of selected open software standards for the healthcare sector.

The IBM Healthcare Competency Centre is being established at the IBM premises in Barcelona and will open in September this year.

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