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Digital Health

Could IT help us forget about Alzheimer's?

Spread across 800 square meters, the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) exhibit at CEBIT 2018 is a showcase of pioneering technology and numerous application examples. A particular highlight is the recently launched collaboration between the DZNE and HPE to conduct research into forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease.

29 May. 2018
HPE_engineers_working_on_prototype.
HPE engineers working on prototype

Some of the many topics HPE is focusing on at this year’s CEBIT include self-repairing production machines, intelligent spaces that guide and serve people, data centers that independently resolve upcoming bottlenecks, networked things that recognize hackers from their behavior patterns, and innovative computers that compare millions of signs of diseases to find just the right medication. "In the future, every machine, every process, every building will be equipped with intelligence. At CEBIT, we want to wow visitors with the opportunities that this trend is opening up, but we are also demonstrating how to seize these opportunities and protect ourselves from the potential risks," explains Heiko Mayer, CEO of HPE Germany.

One such opportunity that HPE has seized is researching forms of dementia such as Alzheimer's - one of the greatest challenges of modern medicine. Last spring, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) joined forces with HPE to develop a cutting-edge supercomputer designed to greatly speed up assessments of biomedical data and to hasten progress in dementia research. With this in mind, the computer follows the principles of HPE's innovative memory-driven computing architecture. Given the enormous amount of computing power needed when using genetic and brain scan data to develop new approaches to preventing and treating dementia, the DZNE and HPE have decided to come together to harness the potential of memory-driven computing for medical research.

This form of computing is said to be a radical break from all traditional computing, as the architecture is centered around the RAM instead of around the processor. "Ideally, you want to have all data in one gigantic RAM so the processor can access it directly and doesn't have to first read it from external storage devices," explains Professor Joachim Schultze, head of the working group for single cell genomics and epigenomics at the DZNE. "Working with external storage devices is like trying to complete a puzzle when all the pieces have been put into lots of boxes that you have to open one after the other to find the right pieces. If, however, you have all pieces spread out in front of you, you'll be finished much more quickly," Schultze adds. HPE hopes this new approach will shed light on how to further increase processor power. Owing to the exponentially increasing amounts of data that computers need to process, the company is eager to demonstrate to CEBIT 2018 visitors how memory-driven computing can offer a groundbreaking approach in a whole host of sectors.

Hewlett-Packard GmbH, German Headquarters (71034 Böblingen, Germany), Hall 12, Stand D47