IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 18

R&D

dense, the doctor will then have
to decide whether you should be
on medication or if you should
adopt a different lifestyle. But this
is essentially very prone to error
simply because density alone is not
enough to characterize the type of
bone. You need to look at the exact
microarchitecture of the bone. This
is called trabecular bone. But apart
from that, you can't really simulate
the lifestyle of a person by simply
looking at a test. On the other
hand, you can have a computer
model that is pretty accurate.
For instance, let's say the
accuracy of the error would be a
few percent. With that, you can
simulate all kinds of external loads.
Now also suppose you need to do
corrective surgery on someone. You
have to determine where you put,
say, the prosthesis or the screws
to connect the pieces of a broken
bone. This is also affected by the
quality of the bone. So when you
use this tool, doctors can actually
simulate and see beforehand
what's going to happen if they put
a screw in a place where the bone
is prone to break anyway. There's
a predictive element as well as a
practical action element.
Q. According to the information
I've read, you've developed a
dynamic heat map of strain.
What is it and why did you
decide to build that?
A. Let's assume you have a sample
of a patient's vertebra, which is
cylindrical in shape and maybe
five millimeters long. Currently,
procedure calls for a CT scan on
this little bone fragment. The result
is a 3-D picture from which we
can create a mathematical model
that's essentially comprised of little
micrometer-sized cubes. When
you put these cubes together,
they constitute the full bone. Now
doctors can ask, "What would
happen if the patient puts 20 kilos
of pressure on this bone-or 30 or
40 or 50 kilos?"

To test this, you apply a load, run the model, and
then the output specifies how much every little
cube moves, or how much it displaces due to the
added load. Then this displacement assessment is
formed into a color map. A doctor can then look at
the bone as a colorful "heat map," with red meaning
that part of the bone suffers a lot of displacement
and blue indicating that there would be little or no
displacement. A doctor can then determine where it's
safe to put the screws. This is a much more accurate
way of measuring where failures might occur-and
that's the power of the modeling.
Q. How did you begin this research?
A. Scientists with the Departments of Mechanical and
Process Engineering and Computer Science at ETH
Zurich, lead by Professor Ralph Mueller, approached
us to help solve this problem. This was in part because
we had the IBM Blue Gene* supercomputer, one of
the fastest in Switzerland at the time, but mainly
due to our previous experience in massive scale out
and algorithmic re-engineering of complex scientific
computational science applications. If you don't scale
through such a system, you can end up simulating
bone scans for days and days.
Now, in addition to that, think about every
individual biopsy sample. You can simulate many
bone conditions under many different types of loads
that simulate how tall a person is or how much he
weighs, so if one simulation takes a few days, 50 or
60 simulations would take two to three months per
person. This isn't acceptable, which led to the need to
scale. So we thought, "How can we take this, bundle it
together and turn it into a clinical tool?"
Of course, it's not possible to have a supercomputer
at every hospital or every clinic where these studies
are conducted, so again we asked ourselves, "How can
we scale this down? How can we still be accurate but
with less detailed models?" We asked this last question
because, in clinical practices, you have less detailed
models in comparison to the bone biopsy simply
because the biopsy samples use high-energy CT scans,
but not every hospital has this equipment. Typically,
X-rays are taken, particularly in the emerging markets,
which are smaller files, but also at a lower resolution.
Regardless, we want to take both the CT scans and
the X-rays for thousands and thousands of people
to conduct comparative studies to understand what
makes this particular person prone to suffer from
this disease. For example, are there similarities?
And if there are similarities, can we predict what's
going to happen in the future? This is where we are
right now. We're still looking at scalability, but now
we're also looking at the data-analytics aspects of
such a program.

18 // MAY/JUNE 2015 ibmsystemsmag.com

Q. How are you introducing
predictive, analytic
diagnoses to the clinic?
A: The idea is to have the data
that comes out of the scanner at
the point of care and have that
information then fed into an
analytics system. In our current
research, we're using a POWER8*
system to expedite the full process
and attain in a matter of a few
minutes, as opposed to a few
hours, the desired results. This can
also run offline so, for instance,
when a patient goes to a clinic,
you can start simulating all kinds
of external loads in multiple
situations or feed all of the results
into a knowledge-based system that
can allow to conduct comparisons
between different patients, which
can then be shown to the patient
from the cloud on an iPad.
For example, two women of a
similar age come into the clinic
and they have more or less a
similar medical profile, but when
you run the simulations, you
see one is much more prone to a
fracture than the other. Then you
would say, "Oh, they're similar.
They're the same age. They're
both young mothers. They weigh
about the same. So why are
they different?"
The quality of the systems we're
building will allow doctors to
pose these high-level questions
and use this as a tool to drill down
into the data to determine if there
are any similarities that they
don't see or if there's anything
published in the literature that
applies particularly to these two
patients that can explain why
they are like this. This is the big
data quality aspect of the process
as we are developing it right now.
Q. This work began on
supercomputers but has
since moved to much smaller
servers. What impact will this
have not only in the doctor's
office but elsewhere as well?


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IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015

Table of Contents
IBM Perspective: A mainframe built for Generation Z
Editor's Desk: Optimistic future
Partner PoV: Now is the time for multifactor authentication
Infographic: Myths, exaggerations and uncomfortable truths
Currents: TCO for an IBM z13 cloud is lower than an x86 or public cloud, according to an IBM study
R&D: IBM Research is working to better diagnose osteoporosis -- and make computing more economical
Cover Story: Mastering the Mainframe: IBM contest connects millennials to the mainframe and potential employers
Feature: The Millennial Career Guidebook: Six groups and resources to help mainframers starting their careers
Feature: Mainframe Within Reach: IBM provides a rich set of solutions designed to help new mainframe programmers
Tech Showcase: IBM X-Force report reveals challenges and strategies to succeed in the new computing environment
Tech Corner: New IBM z13 chip improves throughput and analytics performance
Solutions: ReACT V4.0; Ivory Service Architect V4.6
Stop Run: Running and fencing keep IBMer active
Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Mainframe
2015 Mainframe Solutions Edition Product Index
Linux on z E-book
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Intro
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Cover1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Cover2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Table of Contents
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - IBM Perspective: A mainframe built for Generation Z
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Editor's Desk: Optimistic future
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Partner PoV: Now is the time for multifactor authentication
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 9
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Infographic: Myths, exaggerations and uncomfortable truths
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Currents: TCO for an IBM z13 cloud is lower than an x86 or public cloud, according to an IBM study
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 12
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 14
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - R&D: IBM Research is working to better diagnose osteoporosis -- and make computing more economical
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 17
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 18
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 19
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Cover Story: Mastering the Mainframe: IBM contest connects millennials to the mainframe and potential employers
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 21
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 22
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 23
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Feature: The Millennial Career Guidebook: Six groups and resources to help mainframers starting their careers
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 25
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 26
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 27
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 28
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 29
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Feature: Mainframe Within Reach: IBM provides a rich set of solutions designed to help new mainframe programmers
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 31
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 32
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Tech Showcase: IBM X-Force report reveals challenges and strategies to succeed in the new computing environment
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 34
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 35
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 36
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 37
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 38
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 39
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 40
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 41
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Tech Corner: New IBM z13 chip improves throughput and analytics performance
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 43
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 44
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 45
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 46
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Solutions: ReACT V4.0; Ivory Service Architect V4.6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Stop Run: Running and fencing keep IBMer active
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Cover3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Cover4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Mainframe
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - RF2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - Linux on z E-book
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L8
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L9
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L10
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L12
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L14
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L16
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L17
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L18
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L19
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L20
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - L21
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - 2015 Mainframe Solutions Edition Product Index
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - SE2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - SE3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - SE4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - SE5
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