A Medical Device Daily

Hayes Inc. (Lansdale, Pennsylvania), a health technology research and consulting firm dedicated to promoting better health outcomes, reported that it has been selected to provide evidence-based health technology assessments to three major international healthcare concerns.

The Ministry of Health in Basque Country, an autonomous community in Spain, has selected Hayes to support evidence-based decisions on new health technologies. The Basque Office for Health Technology Assessment will utilize Hayes research to support its drive to improve patient care and outcomes, and to make evidence-based decisions about new healthcare technology purchases.

Dr. Iñaki Gutiérrez Ibarluzea of the Basque Ministry of Health said, "Last year, a funded project of the Spanish Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment found that there are differences between the efficiency of the information sources to be consulted when trying to identify new and emerging health technologies. Hayes was consistently among the top information sources for technologies such as devices, diagnostics, drugs, public health interventions and procedures and accordingly we chose Hayes as a valuable tool in our daily work as a health technology assessment agency."

In addition, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein (HIAE) in Sao Paolo, Brazil, has selected Hayes to support its decision-making process for the acquisition of new health technologies. HIAE is the first hospital outside the U.S. to be accredited by the Joint Commission International, reflecting a commitment to quality that has led to a 97% patient satisfaction rating, the highest of more than 100 international hospitals surveyed.

Camila Sardenberg, MD, medical practice manager at the hospital, said, "Evaluating new health technologies is a core process to reach our goal: to promote continuous improvement in medical practice, by establishing evidence-based standards centered in patient safety. That is why we chose Hayes. They offer a broad, unbiased and sophisticated analysis on emerging health technologies that fulfills all our needs."

Helsana, Switzerland's leading health insurer with close to 2 million lives covered, has subscribed to Hayes Technology Prognosis, a service that provides hospitals, insurers, and policy makers with a forward-looking view of the changing health technology landscape.

Dr. Beat Seiler, chief medical officer of Helsana, said, "As Switzerland's leading health insurer, Helsana knows that timely and sound information about technological innovation and novel medication is vital. Hayes Prognosis will be an important tool for [our] medical officers because it delivers unbiased, evidence-based support for claims inquiries and negotiations to extend coverage."

Winifred Hayes, PhD, president/CEO of Hayes, said, "Our recent international successes demonstrate that evidence-based health technology assessment continues to gain traction in helping healthcare payers and providers make better use of medical advancements in patient care. New technologies must deliver real improvements in patient care and be cost-effective compared with current care."

Mexican tender awarded to Del Global

Del Global Technologies (Franklin Park, Illinois) reported that it has won a large government tender in Mexico.

Local support services are to be provided by Del Global's in-country dealer, Suministro para Uso Médico y Hospitalario (SMH). Belisario Jasso, general director at SMH, said, "Mexico's government scrutinized Del's local presence carefully before making the award."

The Mexican government plans to install six Apollo systems for the Mexico City Government Health Services, four Digital Apollo Systems for the ISSSTE (Government Workers Health and Social Institute) and eight Del RAD Systems for the ISEM (Health Services for the State of Mexico).

The Apollo units were manufactured by Del Global's Villa Sistemi Medicali (Milan, Italy) subsidiary and were shipped to Mexico in December, with the first units installed last month.

Dennis Runyan, vice president of global sales & marketing for the Del Medical Systems Group, said, "We choose our international dealer relationships carefully. SMH is a leading sales and support provider of advanced imaging technology, with installations in major hospitals throughout the Mexican Republic."

Del Global Technologies is primarily engaged in the manufacture of high-performance diagnostic imaging systems for medical, dental and veterinary applications through the Del Medical Systems Group.

Aussie researchers developing CAD test

Researchers in Australia are reporting an advance toward the first urine test for diagnosing coronary artery disease (CAD), the condition responsible for most of the 1.5 million heart attacks that occur in the U.S. each year.

The test could save lives in the future by allowing earlier diagnosis and monitoring of the disease, which is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S., the researchers say. Their report appeared in the November issue of the journal Proteome Research.

In the new study, Karlheinze Peter and colleagues note that the most reliable test for diagnosing CAD is angiography, an invasive test in which doctors inject special dyes into the body to visualize, via X-rays, fatty plaque deposits in the arteries of the heart. However, the technique is invasive, expensive, time-consuming, and may miss CAD in its earliest stages, they say.

To develop a faster, more convenient test, the scientists collected urine samples from a group of 67 patients — 41 with CAD and 26 without — and analyzed the samples for differences in protein content. Using a newly developed method, they identified a group of 17 peptides (building blocks of proteins) that appear to be directly associated with CAD.

These urine-based peptides indicated the presence of the disease with an 84% accuracy rate when compared to CAD cases confirmed using angiography, the researchers say, underscoring their potential for diagnostic screening.