A Medical Device Daily

iTech Medical (Huntington Beach, California), a medical information technology company, reported that it has received CE mark approval for the commercial sale of its Muscle Pattern Recognition (MPR) system.

The MPR system is a non-invasive clinical assessment tool being developed to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of back and neck pain, one of the most common chronic conditions in the industrialized world. On Dec. 13, the company reported that it had received Health Canada approval to begin sales and marketing of the MPR system in Canada.

“The achievement of the CE mark for our MPR system represents another critical milestone in the history of iTech Medical,“ said Wayne Cockburn, president/CEO at iTech.

It is estimated that 80% of the European population will suffer back pain at some time in their lives and in excess of one third of the European workforce suffer from low back pain. Although many cases resolve within 2-4 weeks, many patients will have recurring pain within 1 year following the first episode of back pain.

“Back and neck pain cases are one of the greatest health problems in the European Union, with direct and indirect treatment costs in excess of €100 billion a year,“ said Cockburn. “Our device has the potential to benefit a large number of patients that suffer from neck and back pain while at the same time reducing the costs related to diagnosing and treating this condition. We are extremely pleased with this approval and we look forward to introducing the MPR System in the European Community in 2011.“

The company said it is currently evaluating its marketing and distribution strategy options, including strategic partners.

Getinge selects Verizon for communications

When Getinge Group (Stockholm, Sweden) needed to enhance its global communication environment, it turned to Verizon Business. Under a new 3-1/2-year agreement, Verizon will deploy and manage an integrated communication and networking solution.

Getinge, a provider of healthcare and life sciences products and systems, employs more than 12,000 employees at 150 companies around the globe. The company is expanding rapidly through a mix of acquisition and organic growth. As a result, Getinge's network infrastructure had become increasingly fragmented, with multiple service providers around the world.

Verizon is consolidating Getinge's global communication environment onto a secure, high-capacity, Verizon global Private IP network. Network security is further enhanced by Verizon's industry-leading managed security services portfolio, and Getinge is also turning to Verizon for managed and professional services support. Service reliability is supported by Verizon's stringent and comprehensive network monitoring services, and service-level agreements.

Getinge is also leveraging Verizon's Computing-as-a-Service solution, which provides a robust and secure platform that can be scaled on demand according to immediate business needs.

“We needed to upgrade our network operations and wanted to reinvent our network environment to ensure it would support our business needs,“ said Pelle Lundgren, group IT director for Getinge Group. “In Verizon Business, we've found a partner who has a global reach, expansive solutions portfolio, broad experience and expertise to support us globally – as well as a strong Swedish presence. We hope that our new network will deliver management and cost efficiencies.“

HaemoCer receives CE mark approval

BioCer Entwicklungs (Bayreuth, Germany), a device manufacturer, reported the CE mark approval of HaemoCer, an absorbable polysaccharide hemostat (APH). Introduction of HaemoCer APH will commence this month in the European Union and other selected international markets.

HaemoCer is an absorbable, surgical hemostatic technology created via a polysacharide ultra-hydrophilic resorbable engineering (PURE) process. PURE processing utilizes sophisticated, plant-based polymer crosslinking that creates ultra-hydrophilic, biocompatible, polysaccharide compounds. The PURE technology format of HaemoCer is a powder; alternate novel product formats are planned for release in 2Q11. A family of customized, single-use application instruments will enhance the delivery of HaemoCer particles to the wound site for the control of capillary, venous and arteriolar bleeding in both open and minimally invasive surgical procedures. There is no thrombin, collagen, or other human or animal components in HaemoCer particles.

Swiss clinic uses TrueBeam technology

A cancer clinic has become the second in Switzerland to begin delivering advanced radiotherapy treatments using the new TrueBeam system from Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, California). More than 30 patients have been treated using the new system since clinical treatments began at Kantonsspital Winterthur (Winterthur, Switzerland).

A 75-year-old man with prostate cancer was the first patient to receive treatment on the TrueBeam system. “This treatment was very fast and it went extremely well,“ said Urs Meier, MD, the hospital's head of radiation oncology. “We have subsequently treated patients with CNS tumors, lymphoma and lesions in the head & neck, all with intent to cure.“

“TrueBeam enables radio-oncology departments to perform precise image-guided treatments with unmatched speed, thereby allowing a greater number of cancer patients to benefit from advanced techniques in a more timely manner,“ added Meier.

Designed to advance the treatment of lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, and other types of cancer, the TrueBeam platform for image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery was introduced by Varian in April as the first fully-integrated radiotherapy system designed from the ground up to treat a moving target with unprecedented speed and accuracy.

Kantonsspital Winterthur is a public hospital with a radiation oncology department serving 400,000 patients. More than 850 new patients are treated each year and this is expected to increase by up to 5% per annum. The hospital uses equipment and software from a variety of suppliers but TrueBeam is the first Varian machine installed there, along with Eclipse treatment planning and ARIA oncology information software.

The company plans to consolidate its software environment and replace its second linear accelerator with a TrueBeam system in 2012, as well as consolidate the software environment.

Kantonsspital Winterthur is the second hospital in Switzerland to begin treatments using the TrueBeam system, after Zurich University Hospital, which became the first in the world to commence clinical treatments in April and has since treated more than 130 patients. Hospitals in Milan and Amsterdam have also begun clinical treatments and TrueBeam devices are currently being installed at numerous other European hospitals.