OSC Networking Unveils Internet2 Capability Through Live Medical Procedure

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Jan 7, 2000) — 

An audience watched a surgeon sew up a herniated bladder as another surgeon, two miles away in the Rhodes State Office Tower, collaborated with him as part of a live demonstration of Internet2 technology on January 11.

OSC Networking, a division of OSC (the Ohio Supercomputer Center), has been designated an Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC-Ohio). Tuesday's demonstration explored the capabilities of ITEC-Ohio by showing a live surgical procedure at The Ohio State University (OSU) Medical Center and collaborative consultation with cancer patient data using high-performance network tools.

Using cameras mounted in the operating room, Dr. Steven Steinberg of the OSU Division of General Surgery repaired the hernia while Dr. Scott Melvin, Director of the OSU Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery, moderated questions from the audience. Ohio legislators, Ohio Board of Regents members, Governor Taft's office staff, Internet2 officials and the press observed and interacted.

"Our goal is to teach other physicians while we continue to provide the highest level of patient care," said Dr. Melvin.

In addition to the live surgery, researchers from OSU and OSC demonstrated advanced applications that provide for synchronous collaboration between remote locations, allowing physicians to view and discuss three-dimensional reconstructions of information from cancer patients.

Don Stredney, senior research scientist at OSC, demonstrated the unique capability to interactively manipulate three-dimensional data, as opposed to passively witnessing stored images. "Internet2 provides a high availability network to support the demands of advanced research applications being developed by OSU and OSC. We are continuing to develop new tools for complex applications for a wide range of users," Stredney said.

The ITEC-Ohio consortium will help develop technologies that will greatly improve many aspects of our lives through distance learning, telemedicine, massive digital libraries, distributed computing, virtual laboratories, and much more. Increased remote collaboration among doctors alone will foster the rapid adoption of new medical procedures throughout the country and world. ITEC-Ohio will be the communications technology testing center for tomorrow's Internet.

ITEC-Ohio partners include the Air Force Institute of Technology, Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University, OSC Networking, Ohio Learning Network, OhioLINK, OSU, OSC, Ohio University, University of Akron, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton and Wright State University, as well as corporate partners Qwest and Battelle.

ITEC-Ohio was selected as part of a national effort to develop advanced networking technologies that will be used by Internet2, the next generation Internet. Project Abilene is the production network of Internet2, and is the highest performance area network in the world. The technologies that ITEC-Ohio helps develop will quickly become available to the general public including university faculty and students, the health care industry, business community, media outlets, entertainment industry, public libraries and private homes.

"The development of Internet2 and its multiple sources of potential benefits, commencing right here in Ohio, should be viewed as a golden opportunity to explore and then cultivate high-tech career opportunities for the new century," said Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Roderick G. W. Chu. "In many respects, Ohio has long followed the lead of other states and regions of the nation in terms of technology advancements. It is now a pleasure for the Ohio Board of Regents to participate with a strong consortium of Ohio organizations as we take a leading position on the national if not international spectrum of technological sophistication," Chu said.

"There is no doubt that technology is the driving force behind the nation's new economy. Projects such as Abilene will help Ohio prepare for the future," said Glenn Brown, Governor Taft's Science and Technology Advisor.

Internet2 is a project of UCAID (University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development), which provides leadership and direction for advanced networking development, technology transfer and collaborative activities in the United States. With corporate and government backing, networks around the world will soon link up with Internet2, sharing research and turning knowledge into commercial products. Dozens of major corporations, including Qwest, Cisco, Nortel, IBM and others are providing more than $500 million in equipment, infrastructure and other resources for the Internet2 network. As new technologies are developed on Internet2, the corporate community will move them into the public sector where they will improve education, business, health, industry and entertainment.