News & Media
It was impossible to miss news reports in July that Australians only receive “appropriate” healthcare 57% of the time.
The CareTrack study is the first national overview of clinical care in Australia, studying the level of care provided to a sample of 1,154 adults for 22 of the most common conditions. It found that while parts of the Australian healthcare system were excellent, major deficiencies still existed, particularly in providing the proper care for conditions such as high blood pressure or sinusitis.
Intersect is excited about the success of the CareTrack research project and the tools used to collect the research. Intersect built the data collection system, database and web applications that managed the data collection.
CareTrack Australia Project Manager Tamara Hunt says, “We contracted Intersect to design a web-based tool for users to enter data accessed from medical records in hospitals, general practices, specialist facilities, physiotherapy and chiropractic practices.
“The tool provided secure data access, data encryption, offline data collection and subsequent database synchronisation (to mitigate against problems of fire-walls and poor internet connectivity in various healthcare settings). Inbuilt algorithms directed users to enter data specific to the healthcare setting, patient demographics and clinical condition.
The ICE_X_CGI, Intersect's new High Performance Computer, also known as Orange
The Intersect consortium has selected SGI to provide new high performance computing (HPC) infrastructure to further research in NSW.
The new supercomputing facility will enable NSW researchers to continue their ground-breaking work in increasingly competitive environments, including research in quantum chemistry, computational chemistry, chemical engineering, climate science, mechanical engineering, bioinformatics and physics. Emerging research in these areas of science requires vast amounts of data storage and massive computing resources. The SGI 30+ Tflop distributed memory cluster will provide a greater than 25-fold increase of compute power and a fivefold increase of disk capacity on the existing system.
“Demand for HPC across Intersect’s membership is roughly doubling each year,” said Dr Ian Gibson, Intersect CEO. “This is due to a rising awareness of Intersect’s HPC facilities as well as the rise in the need for greater computational power to handle bigger research problems across many disciplines.” HPC is one element of an integrated portfolio of infrastructure services Intersect offers that includes large-scale research data storage and management. The SGI High Performance Cluster dramatically increases the capabilities supplied to the eResearch community in NSW.
The new research infrastructure is funded through the Australian Research Council's Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) scheme. The LIEF grant, led by the University of Sydney’s Professor Leo Radom is supplemented by investments from the University of Sydney, UNSW, UTS, Macquarie University, the University of Newcastle, the University of Wollongong, Southern Cross University and the University of New England.
The combined value of the capital investment is greater than $1million. Intersect will provide the on-going hosting facilities, management and support of HPC systems on behalf of the consortium of NSW universities. A rigorous procurement process was led by the University of Sydney.
“The workload on Intersect’s facilities covers a broad range of research across many disciplines,” said Dr. Gibson, “and this has influenced the choice, design and architecture of the SGI High Performance Cluster.”
The new system features 100 cluster nodes with 1600 cores powered by the Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 processor series. It also includes 101TB of usable shared storage delivering 33.3TFlops.
The SGI HPC cluster is comprised of 10 large compute nodes each with dual Intel Xeon E5-2600 8-core processors, 256 GB memory, and 1x2TB SATA drives. System software provided includes SGI Management Center, SGI Performance Suite, PBS Pro Scheduler and SUSE® Linux EnterpriseServer operating system. In addition, there are 88 small compute nodes eachwith dual Intel Xeon E5-2600 8-core processors, 64GB memory, 1x1TB SATA drives. The clusters are connected with QDR InfiniBand® Non-blocking Interconnect technology.
Dual administration nodes and a system console are also provided. Storage capabilities consist of an SGI NAS Storage Server with Panasas® ActiveStor™ 12 (high performance parallel file system) delivering 57TB usable storage.
“SGI has had a long relationship with Intersect and the University of Sydney where our support and services expertise is especially valued,” said Nick Gorga, general manager, SGI Australia and New Zealand. “The clear upgrade path from Intersect’s current system to the increased computational capabilities will accelerate research outcomes in the state.”
Intersect will work on extending and enhancing the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank (ASRB) for the Schizophrenia Research Institute.
The ASRB enables researchers to study the genetic underpinnings of schizophrenia and diagnostic subgroups within it, with the aim of leading to improved treatments and preventative strategies.
Intersect built the ASRB in 2009. A secure commercial grade system, the ASRB revolutionised the way schizophrenia research data is collected, stored and disseminated in Australia. NeCTAR will fund $639k of this research tool, with a co-investment $1019k.
The first five nodes of the $50 million Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) project have been announced. The storage network is intended to transform the way in which research data collections are stored and accessed in Australia.
Four primary nodes have been announced – one to be established by Intersect in Sydney, a Brisbane node at the Queensland Cyber infrastructure Foundation, the ANU will establish a node in Canberra and eResearch SA will set up a node in Adelaide. An additional node will be established by the University of Tasmania.
These are the first of eight to ten nodes intended to underpin the national storage network, which by 2014 will offer Australian researchers access to around 100 petabytes of data collections.
RDSI along with the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) research cloud are two main pillars of the Government’s Super Science initiative which is being financed through the Education Investment Fund.
The RDSI programme is led by Nick Tate, based at the University of Queensland, (UQ). UQ is leading the program on behalf of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE).
Nodes in the RDSI will be connected by AARNet but using a separate wavelength to other data traffic on the network to avoid the transmission of large data collections “flooding” the AARNet backbone.
Further information can be found here.
About 55 heads of agencies and senior representatives of eResearch agencies attended the second forum of Australian eResearch Organisations (AeRO) in Melbourne on 18 June. The forum pursued the top priorities identified in the first forum, and subsequently ranked in a targeted survey. Discussion focused on the two leading issues:
- developing catalogues of eResearch tools and services, and so expanding work to date by eg CAUDIT and ANDS; and
- providing help-desk services to support researchers across all eResearch services.
Presentations were made by representatives of CAUDIT, AARnet, ANDS, the University of Melbourne, AeRIC, AeRO and the AAF. The forum established two working committees to plan and action the next steps in both areas.
The next full AeRO forum will occur in Sydney immediately preceding the eResearch Australasia conference on 27 October 2012. For more see http://aero.edu.au/junenationalforum
Work is complete on the NSW node of the Monash University Protein Crystallography TARDIS system. Developed by Intersect for the University of Sydney (and other potential users), the project has established the NSW TARDIS node for storing macromolecular protein crystallography data. The NSW TARDIS node automates feeds of data from the Monash TARDIS system. Participating laboratories in NSW can capture, annotate, organise and store data and access stored raw data. http://tardis.edu.au/ & http://www.intersect.org.au/nsw-tardis
This project is supported by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). ANDS is supported by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy Program and the Education Investment Fund (EIF) Super Science Initiative
Calendar of Events
Register here http://intersect-09.eventbrite.com.au.