A Medical Device Daily

Animas (West Chester, Pennsylvania) reported the approval of its OneTouch Ping Glucose Management System by Health Canada. OneTouch Ping is the first full-feature insulin pump that wirelessly communicates with a blood glucose meter-remote. Using the OneTouch Ping meter-remote, a person can calculate insulin doses and opt to wirelessly instruct the pump to deliver them without touching the pump at all, giving patients more freedom and flexibility in using their insulin pump.

"OneTouch Ping provides patients with unique capabilities designed to make life with diabetes easier and more discreet. A combination of the advanced insulin pump technology from Animas and trusted OneTouch blood glucose monitor technology, the OneTouch Ping frees people living with diabetes from multiple daily injections, while offering discretion and convenience through remote insulin dosing," said Henry Anhalt, Director of Medical Affairs at Animas.

The company noted that the OneTouch Ping also marks the first integrated product from two companies within the diabetes care group of Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, New Jersey): Animas, makers of insulin pumps, and LifeScan (Milpitas, California), makers of the OneTouch brand of glucose meters and OneTouch Ultra test strips.

RapidArc available at Beijing Cancer Hospital

Cancer patients in mainland China are gaining access to fast and efficient radiotherapy treatments with the introduction of RapidArc radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, California) at the Beijing Cancer Hospital (BCH) in China. BCH is the first hospital in mainland China to introduce the revolutionary technique, which offers more advanced care to a greater number of patients.

"The speed and precision of RapidArc makes it perfect for the heavy patient throughput that we see in China," said Guangying Zhu, MD, professor of radiation oncology at BCH. Doctors at the hospital intend to use RapidArc primarily for precise treatments of lung cancer, esophagus cancer, rectal cancer and head and neck cancer.

RapidArc delivers treatment in single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient and makes it possible to deliver image-guided IMRT two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT. Faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery and, with less time on the treatment couch, also allow for greater patient comfort, the company said.

BCH has treated more than 5,000 patients with conventional IMRT in recent years. "Most IMRT treatments take between 15 and 30 minutes to deliver," Zhu said. "With RapidArc we will be able to offer equivalent and even superior treatments in just two to three minutes. The high-performance On-Board Imager is an excellent targeting tool and the reliability of Varian's linear accelerators brings us a great deal of confidence for a high up-time system."

Beijing Cancer Hospital's department of radiation oncology treats more than 2,000 new cancer patients each year from across China, as well as from neighboring countries such as Vietnam.

Cigna expands regional access to healthcare

Cigna (Philadelphia) said it has introduced expanded regional access to healthcare facilities in China and Macau through its international CignaLinks program. Expatriates now have access to a range of doctors, hospitals, and clinics that have met Cigna International's quality standards in those countries.

Expatriates covered by Cigna International's CignaLinks program in the region encompassing Hong Kong, China, Macau and Taiwan can now receive discounts when visiting United Family Hospitals in Beijing and Shanghai as well as a selection of clinics in Macau.

United Family Hospitals are full-service medical centers with private rooms and more than 18 specialties ranging from oncology to maternity. The United Family Hospitals and Clinics recently earned an accreditation from the Joint Commission International.

Cigna said it continues to see an increase in the expatriate population in Macau, where the city's tourism and gambling industries are growing. By opening up the CignaLinks network to several clinics and hospitals within the city, it said it is providing more options to meet the healthcare needs of expatriates in the area.

CignaLinks programs are currently available in the UK, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Macau, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Kuwait.