A Medical Device Daily

Vitrolife (Stockholm, Sweden) reported the establishment of a market organization of its own in Japan to strengthen its position in this market, the next largest in the world with regard to the number of infertility treatments. Vitrolife is a global biotechnology/medical device group that works with developing, manufacturing and selling advanced products and systems for the preparation, cultivation and storage of human cells, tissue and organs. The company has business activities within three product areas: fertility, transplantation and stem cell cultivation.

"The establishment of a company of our own, with an office in Tokyo, will markedly increase our opportunities to create closer and more effective contacts with our customers and thereby give them even better service, something which is crucial in the Japanese market," says Marcus Hedenskog, head of the newly formed Vitrolife KK. Marcus has more than 15 years' experience of working in the Japanese market. Demand for infertility treatments continues to be very high in Japan, not least due to the fact that people there are planning to have children later and later in life, which means an increased risk of infertility and a better financial capacity to pay for infertility treatments. "With the investments in the building up of local sales organizations in China and now in Japan, we are getting closer to one of our strategic objectives, to build up a market organization that covers all important markets and we are significantly increasing our opportunities for even faster growth in Asia," said Vitrolife's VP Marketing & Sales Nils Sellbom.

US Spine contracts with international consultants

US Spine (Boca Raton, Florida) reported that it is expanding upon the global reach for its CE marked Facet Fixation System technology. The company has now contracted the services of international Spine and Orthopedics consultants in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East and will continue to manage North American and South American sales and distribution through its U.S. headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida.

"Here in the States, our Facet Fixation technology has been ushering in a new type of posterior fixation that allows surgeons to create a rigid posterior construct in a fraction of the time required by conventional devices," said Doris Blake, president/CEO of U.S. Spine. "Now, with enhanced sales and distribution capabilities in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, we can provide surgeons all over the world with a safe and reproducible alternative for posterior lumbar fixation."

US Spine's Facet Fixation System consists of two parts, the facet gun and the facet bolt. The gun enables the surgeon to lock the facet joint in two simple steps, while the bolt is a locking facet implant.

"With our Facet Fixation System, we're now introducing these markets around the globe to the concept of a facet bolt as well as providing surgeons with an implant that is preloaded into the delivery mechanism," added Blake. "Our technology provides faster, easier to use and potentially better patient outcomes and the response abroad has been promising in each of these foreign markets."

Blake said that plans to add additional international distributors in Korea, Spain, Jordon, China, Malaysia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, and Russia are also underway.

Chile licenses Verisk Health software

Verisk Health (Waltham, Massachusetts) a global healthcare data analytics firm that delivers solutions to minimize medical and financial risk, reported that Chile's Health Superintendency has licensed Verisk Health's DxCG RiskSmart Stand Alone software for a pilot program to implement risk adjustment in the management of Chile's large private insurer funds, Isapres (Instituciones de Salud Previsional).

Chile's Health Superintendency is responsible for fiscal control of the nation's health systems. The agency is seeking to improve its predictive capabilities and provide technical tools to facilitate a new risk-adjustment formula that considers disease status (morbidity) as a risk-adjustment factor.

DxCG RiskSmart Stand Alone combines science and technology to deliver detailed predictions around cost and care. The company said it integrates seamlessly with existing data to offer an extensive selection of best-of-class predictive models, automatically transforming data into summarized clinical profiles, assigning risk scores, and making predictions of resource use or illness burden for individuals and populations.

Immersion in Japanese distribution agreement

Immersion (San Jose, California), a developer of haptic (touch feedback) technology, said it plans to expand its medical simulation market penetration in Japan through an exclusive new distribution agreement with Gadelius K.K., one of the country's prominent distributors of medical devices and industrial equipment.

Gadelius and Immersion will work closely with medical centers, hospitals, and universities across Japan to develop local centers focused on training for advanced minimally invasive procedures. Immersion's extensive range of medical and surgical simulators enables users to acquire both cognitive and psychomotor skills in laparoscopy, endoscopy, endovascular, and arthroscopy.

The companies will immediately begin sales and marketing initiatives aimed at bringing the highest level of advanced virtual reality medical training simulators, curricula, and services to the Japanese market as it transitions from shared regional medical facilities to new centers located in all hospitals.

"Lifelike simulation is the future of medical training and education, and Gadelius is the ideal partner to help make it the standard for healthcare in Japan," said Clent Richardson, CEO for Immersion. "Japan already leads Asia in adoption of virtual reality simulation training, and Gadelius shares our commitment to delivering the best possible systems to better prepare practitioners to save lives.

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