A Medical Device Daily

American Shared Hospital Services (San Francisco) reported that it is developing a proton beam radiation therapy (PBRT) facility in the San Francisco Bay Area. AMS has entered into a non-binding agreement with Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, California) under which Varian will supply proton therapy equipment for the planned three-room treatment facility.

AMS currently is evaluating several potential sites, and is forming a consortium of hospital partners for what should be the first PBRT center in Northern California.

"Widely regarded as the optimal radiation treatment for a wide variety of cancers, proton beam radiation therapy is the most significant advance in radiation oncology in a generation. AMS is proud to take the lead in making this advanced therapy available to cancer patients in the Bay Area," said Ernest Bates, MD, chairman/CEO of American Shared Hospital Services. "Subject to financing and FDA clearance, we and our partners hope to begin treating patients at our PBRT facility in San Francisco by 2011."

AMS has previously announced contracts to place PBRT devices at Tufts Medical Center (Boston), Orlando Regional Healthcare (Orlando, Florida) and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center (Long Beach, California).

"We are negotiating contracts to place additional PBRT systems in medical centers throughout the country," Bates said.

In other agreements/contracts news:

• Nucletron (Columbia, Maryland) and Advanced Radiation Therapy (ART; Billerica, Massachusetts) reported an exclusive global, strategic partnership to offer the AccuBoost system with the microSelectron high- dose rate brachytherapy afterloader treatment delivery solution for the treatment of breast cancer. The partnership will enable clinicians all over the world to deliver boost brachytherapy as part of the whole breast irradiation procedure, providing a superior treatment option with the ultimate goal of improving clinical outcome.

• GE Healthcare (Waukesha, Wisconsin) has signed a multi-year agreement with Mount Sinai Hospital (New York) to address a significant challenge facing healthcare institutions delivering high-quality services in an environment of scarce resources.

Mount Sinai has recognized an opportunity to address this issue through a solution that combines change management consulting and sophisticated technology.

In the early phase of the agreement, GE Healthcare experts in Lean Six Sigma process management will work with Mount Sinai staff and GE Healthcare's AgileTrac automated workflow and visualization system to track and optimize the most important patient care pathways. This phase will enable hospital staff and administration to observe their clinical pathways and allow the hospital to visualize problems and develop real time solutions.

Together, Mount Sinai and GE will gather real-time data on clinical workflow patterns throughout the 1,171-bed hospital to highlight process bottlenecks and showcase areas of improvement. The goal is to streamline patient flow, improve operational efficiency, and decrease patients' length of stay by decreasing wait times and freeing up capacity that has been, until this project, untapped.

• Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland) has entered into a clinical collaboration with MinuteClinic (Minneapolis) at several locations inside select northeast Ohio CVS/pharmacy stores. These locations, which provide a seven-day-a-week option for those with acute minor illnesses, will now have a direct link to the Cleveland Clinic.

• Bederra (Houston) reported that a large pain management center located in southwest Houston has chosen Bederra to provide MRI and other diagnostic services to patients. Based on the previous year's referrals to other clinics, it is anticipated this agreement could generate up to $400,000 in additional revenue for the company in fiscal 2009.

• Teleflex Medical (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) said that it signed a distribution agreement with ResMed (Poway, California). This agreement makes Teleflex Medical an exclusive distributor of the ResMed Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV) mask portfolio for U.S. acute-care hospitals not affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The use of NIV has grown rapidly in recent years and this trend is expected to continue as facilities adopt protocols aimed at reducing ventilator associated pneumonia.

• Premier Purchasing Partners (Charlotte, North Carolina) reported new agreements for gastrointestinal endoscopy products have been awarded to incumbent suppliers Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) and Cook Medical (Bloomington, Indiana). Effective Jan. 1, the 36-month agreements are available to acute-care and continuum-of-care members of the Premier healthcare alliance.

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