A Medical Device Daily

Kai Sensors (Honolulu, Hawaii) said it has won a National Science Foundation (Arlington, Virginia) contract to develop a system for detecting sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.

Kai Sensors said it would use the $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research Phase I contract to develop a prototype wireless sleep monitoring system. By successfully completing a working prototype, it could qualify for a $500,000 Phase II award that would support completion of the device, the company said.

"Kai Sensors' non-contact sensors are a natural fit for the wireless sleep monitor we will develop," said Andrea Yuen, Kai Sensors CEO. "We believe this monitor will make detection of sleep apnea more convenient and effective and thus help improve the lives of many people."

Kai Sensors said it will own any intellectual property generated from the project. The company also said in developing the system it anticipates developing technology that will become advanced monitoring features specific to sleep disorders in future products.

In other agreements/contracts news:

• Innovative Biosensors (Rockville, Maryland) and Thermo Fisher Scientific (Waltham, Massachusetts) reported that they have entered into a manufacturing and distribution agreement.

Under the agreement, the Thermo Fisher Air Quality Instruments business will manufacture IB's BioFlash Biological Aerosol Collection, Detection and Identification System which provides near real-time, specific and sensitive detection of up to 21 pathogens in single test or multi-test formats. Thermo Fisher also will have a worldwide sales, marketing and distribution license under its Thermo Scientific brand, in certain markets for IBI's BioFlash together with any associated consumables.

• SleepQuest (San Carlos, California), a provider of in-home sleep testing and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP treatment, recently signed a contract with Aetna (Hartford, Connecticut) to serve more patients with sleep-related illnesses such as obstructive sleep apnea who are in need of sleep testing services and CPAP treatment.

SleepQuest will now be part of Aetna's participating network of healthcare providers.

• American Imaging Management (AIM; Chicago) reported that it has launched a diagnostic imaging management program with Regence (Portland, Oregon).

Under this agreement, AIM is administering a radiology benefit management program to enhance the appropriate use of advanced diagnostic imaging procedures delivered in an outpatient, non-emergent setting for Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and Regence BlueShield (in selected counties in Washington).

• NxStage Medical (Lawrence, Massachusetts) reported a five-year distribution agreement between its subsidiary, Medisystems (also Lawrence) and Gambro (Stockholm, Sweden) in which Medisystems will supply blood tubing sets, including the ReadySet and the Streamline to Gambro. Gambro, in turn, will exclusively supply the bloodlines to certain customers for use with specific dialysis machines, subject to certain conditions.

The Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS; East Lansing, Michigan) is collaborating with Microsoft (Redmond, Washington), Compuware (Detroit) subsidiary Covisint (Detroit) and MedImpact Healthcare Systems (San Diego) to be first in the nation to provide statewide connectivity of medical and pharmacy data for Michigan. Patients and physicians who use the medical society's electronic portal, MSMS Connect, will now have access to critical health care data in one location – Microsoft HealthVault. This new collaboration expands MSMS' nation-leading effort to help implement electronic health care technology statewide.

Roughly 3.5 million patients in Michigan receive their pharmacy benefits through MedImpact, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit management company that does not sell drugs. Now, patients will be enabled to easily view their prescription information through HealthVault and MSMS Connect.

The Premier (San Diego) healthcare alliance reported that it will offer its alliance members a capital equipment catalog from Attainia (Mountain View, California).

As a value-added service, all Premier alliance members will have access to Attainia's WATCH equipment catalogue, which provides detailed information and specification sheets for more than 27,000 products from over 2,000 suppliers in 2,800 categories.