• Arbor Vita (Sunnyvale, California) said it has received FDA clearance for its AVantage A/H5N1 Flu Test, a more rapid test for the detection of influenza A/H5N1, a disease-causing subtype of the avian influenza A virus that can infect humans. The AVantage A/H5N1 Flu Test detects influenza A/H5N1 in throat or nose swabs collected from patients who have flu-like symptoms. The test identifies in less than 40 minutes a specific protein NS1 that indicates the presence of the influenza A/H5N1 virus subtype. Previous tests cleared by the FDA to detect this influenza A virus subtype can take three or four hours to produce results. "This test is an important tool to help quickly identify emerging influenza A/H5N1 infections and reduce exposure to large populations," said Daniel Schultz, MD, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "The clearance of this test represents a major step toward protecting the public from the threat of pandemic flu."

• Microsoft (Redmond, Washington) has introduced the Microsoft Amalga Unified Intelligence System (UIS) 2009, the next generation of an enterprise data aggregation platform that enables hospitals to unlock patient data stored in a wide range of systems and make it easily accessible to every authorized member of the team inside and beyond the hospital. When authorized by the patient, Amalga UIS 2009 can push patient data generated at the hospital, including test results, medications and discharge summaries, to the patient's HealthVault record via the ASTM Continuity of Care Record industry-standard specification. The patient can then use and share this information, as desired, with other clinicians or caregivers.

• NMT Medical (Boston) said it has decided that data analysis for its patent foramen ovale (PFO)/stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) clinical trial will remain scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2010. The company said it would then expect to submit a PMA application for its StarFlex device for the stroke and TIA indication.

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