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June 14, 2011

HP Uses Cloud Computing to Fight Cardiovascular Disease in Singapore

By Deborah Hirsch, TMCnet Contributor


Hewlett-Packard (News - Alert) (HP) has announced that it recently developed wireless and mobile healthcare applications into a solution that also includes cloud computing. It will be hosted at its data center design for cloud computing lab in Singapore, according to ibtimes.com, a technology blog. This solution is meant to come up with a solution to improve and prevent heart disease.

Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or personal computer.

The research was conducted by HP’s Singapore branch in association with telecommunications provider SingTel (News - Alert), medical device maker HealthSTATS and Singaporean health provider Frontier Healthcare.

Since almost a third of all deaths in Singapore in 2009 were attributed to cardiovascular events, HP’s goal is to improve the early detection, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular symptoms and conditions, according to ibtimes.com.

To effectively treat these diseases, medical professionals require regular updates on patients' vital signs. The HP Mobile Health (mHealth) Monitoring Solution will offer remote treatment of cardiac disease, including checking of vital signs, check and record a patient’s blood pressure and then share that information with healthcare professionals, wherever they're located, according to the story on ibtimes.com. Any irregularity in the users' health data will trigger alerts to the healthcare service provider.

HP is currently conducting a trial where 100 patients from Frontier Healthcare wear HealthSTATS' wireless BPro® watch-like monitoring devices, according to HP’s Web site.  HealthSTATS software translates patient data, such as 24-hour blood pressure and heartbeat patterns, into meaningful clinical readings.

The information is then relayed wirelessly to a centralized healthcare data repository powered by SingTel's cloud infrastructure, as reported on the Web site. 

HP integrates these different components and technologies into a single, secure health monitoring application. In addition, HP offers a service portal, where doctors' comments, patient medical diaries and graphical clinical readings can be accessed anytime on any Internet-connected device.

"Since common chronic conditions, such as hypertension, may remain undiagnosed in some patients, access to the most accurate and up-to-date health information can save many lives," said Lloyd Oki, vice president of Asia Pacific Sales, communications & media solutions, HP, as reported by ibtimes.com.

Oki also said that eradicating the need for users to visit hospitals and clinics for routine check-ups will be seen as major progress in healthcare and expects that mHealth will monitor other life-threatening conditions in the future, a report on HP’s website said.

HP is also using cloud computing to monitor and reduce malaria in Botswana, according to topsession.net.


Deborah DiSesa Hirsch is an award-winning health and technology writer who has worked for newspapers, magazines and IBM (News - Alert) in her 20-year career. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves