Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
November, 15th 2012

Dr. Jeremy Rice, Computational Physiologist, IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center

By Dr. Jeremy Rice

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology reported in 2006 that about two of 1,000 people, worldwide, die of a ventricular arrhythmia every year – the most common cause of sudden cardiac death.
Predicting who will die suddenly from a ventricular arrhythmia is a huge challenge, but current computer simulations that could help cardiologists find effective therapies take hours or even days to run a single heartbeat. To address this need for faster simulations, my team at IBM Research is working with the Lawrence Livermore National Lab on Cardioid, a code that simulates the human heart on the 20 Petaflop Blue Gene/Q, Sequoia.

The 96-rack installation at LLNL can run Cardioid roughly 1,200 times faster than other published results to simulate in exquisite detail the electrophysiology of up to three billion heart cells (similar to the number in real heart) and their cell-to-cell electric coupling.

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Editor’s note: This article is by Dr. Jeremy Rice a computational physiologist at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center, as told to Chris Nay, IBM Research Communications.

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