A simple test is now available in the Wichita, Kansas, area that determines if the aspirin you are taking to prevent a heart attack or stroke is effective. The AspirinWorks (Denver) Test is available to doctors across Kansas through AMS Laboratory. The AspirinWorks Test determines the effect of aspirin on platelets by measuring the level of the biomarker called thromboxane B2 (11dhTxB2). The higher the levels of thromboxane B2, the stickier the blood platelets, and the less impact the aspirin is having. This crucial information allows physicians to individualize a patient's therapy, which may be as simple as adjusting the dose.

• Biotronik (Berlin) reported the global launch of its Biotronik Home Monitoring for patients with implantable cardiac devices. It is designed to ensure patient safety through earlier detection of serious arrhythmic events with the potential for reducing the number of clinic follow-up visits. Biotronik, says that its Home Monitoring system is based on more than eight years of experience in remote monitoring technology and research among both physicians and patients. The system is available across the entire product portfolio of pacemakers, ICDs and cardiac resynchronization therapy devices allowing physicians to remotely monitor their patients' clinical and device status at any time and from anywhere in the world.

• Celsis International (Chicago) has launched Celsis ReACT, an RNA-based assay for detecting objectionable organisms quickly and definitively without the need for expensive equipment or specialized training. Manufacturers of pharmaceutical, beauty and home care products using Celsis Rapid Detection systems for their primary screening of raw materials, in-process and finished goods can use this RNA-based assay to obtain a two-hour result on samples that test positive for microbial contamination, according to Celsis.

• Cepheid (Sunnyvale, California) reported details of technology expected to revolutionize the speed of diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) and the resistance to common drug treatment for the disease. The new test technology will leverage the power of Cepheid's GeneXpert System to deliver an accurate diagnosis of the disease in less than two hours. Xpert MTB/RIF not only detects the presence of TB, but also identifies whether it is resistant to Rifampicin, a common first-line drug for treatment of the disease and a reliable surrogate marker of strains that are multidrug-resistant. The test is expected to enable physicians to dramatically improve patient outcomes – possible only with on-demand, actionable results to guide therapy decisions within the timeframe of an initial patient visit.

• Imaging Diagnostic Systems (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) said that it has enhanced its CT Laser Mammography (CTLM) system with a reconstruction algorithm that improves visualization of angiogenesis (cancer) in its images. During a CTLM examination, the breast is illuminated by a laser and the transmitted light is collected by a series of photo detectors and transformed into digital data. The reconstruction algorithm uses this data to create the various images of the breasts. The improved algorithm enhances the images by reducing the number of artifacts occasionally produced during an examination thereby making diagnosis easier.

• Masimo (Irvine, California) said it has initiated the full market release of its new noninvasive and continuous hemoglobin (SpHb) monitoring technology. SpHb is part of the Masimo Rainbow SET Pulse CO-Oximetry patient monitoring platform – the first and only upgradable technology platform capable of continuously and noninvasively measuring multiple blood constituents and helping to predict fluid responsiveness in patients previously requiring invasive procedures. Masimo said Rainbow SET noninvasive measurements – including: total hemoglobin (SpHb), oxygen content (SpOC), carboxyhemoglobin (SpCO), methemoglobin (SpMet), PVI, oxyhemoglobin (SpO2), pulse rate (PR), and perfusion index (PI) – have the potential to facilitate faster, easier and safer health decisions.

• Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, Massachusetts) provided data on its Phase II clinical trial (BP-23) for Zemiva. In this trial, the combination of Zemiva imaging with initial clinical information resulted in improved sensitivity (85%) compared to the sensitivity of the initial clinical diagnosis alone (52.2%), while maintaining specificity. Zemiva is a molecular imaging radiopharmaceutical the company is developing to detect cardiac ischemia, the lack of sufficient blood flow to the heart. Ischemia can lead to heart attacks. Zemiva is retained in heart cells that have a healthy blood supply but not retained in ischemic heart cells. Because of its high uptake and long retention in healthy heart cells, Zemiva provides high-quality images of the heart.

• ONI Medical Systems (Wilmington, Massachusetts) reported the first installations of the new MSK Extreme 1.5T highfield dedicated musculoskeletal MRI systems ONI claims the performance of the MSK Extreme 1.5T's gradient system exceeds that of any clinical MRI today. Its 70 m/Tm gradient strength with slew rate of 200 T/m/s achieves a new level of visualization of articular cartilage and detail resolution resulting in exceptional image quality. "The ONI MSK Extreme 1.5T delivers images with high spatial resolution of small structures within the hand and wrist which are superior to most whole body MRI systems," said Douglas Goodwin, MD, director of musculoskeletal radiology, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Lebanon, New Hampshire).

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