Living Human Digital Library Passes MedicalJohn Domingue, Wednesday 23 April 2008 | Annotate
The Living Human Digital Library is a picture of health, following its annual checkup this April. The second year review was held in Bologna, at the headquarters of project member CINECA, the Italian national super-computing consortium. The Living Human Digital Library (LHDL) is an EU research programme funded as a STREP under FP6's health theme. LHDL is developing the technical knowledge and infrastructure to acquire, store, simulate and visualise human muskuloskeletal structure using web services, Grid technologies, and a specialised �fat client�. Its members run the gamut from collecting data via dissection and motion analysis, storing and curating it, and developing the software to process and visualise the results. In two years, LHDL has built a community portal called �BiomedTown�, and grown its membership from zero to over a thousand medical researchers. The project has signed a number of data-sharing agreements with similar projects across the world. Much of the review comprised demonstrations covering the broad cross-section of work in LHDL. On the medical side, video was shown of cadaver dissection and measurement, the breaking of bones (to compute the likelihood of fractures in patients), and the motion capture process which matches movement data from live volunteers with the static physiological information from the bones and muscles of the cadavers. Computing demonstrations showcased the LhpBuilder tool with its data-fusion and 3D visualisation of skeletons and bones, including a multi-scale mode, zooming down from a whole skeleton to a nanometre-scale bone biopsy. LHDL's web services were used to provide web-based file storage for LhpBuilder, as well as driving Web2.0 interfaces similar to LhpBuilder. KMi's semantic web services technologies composed these services, and integrated them with commercial web services. The reviewers were impressed with the advances made in both the medical and computing departments, and the degree of collaboration between the two.