A Medical Device Daily

Perot Systems (Plano, Texas) said that the Kingdom of Jordan has selected the company to manage the pilot deployment of VistA – an open-source clinical and healthcare information management system – at two hospitals and a clinic in the capital city of Amman.

The company noted that Jordan is recognized as providing one of the highest standards of healthcare in the Middle East region. "It also has a rapidly growing IT sector that is gaining a reputable status in the region. King Abdullah II's vision is to continue to build on these successes by establishing an effective, integrated national healthcare infrastructure using a single software platform," Perot Systems said in reporting the agreement.

It added that the project goes hand-in-hand with building an educational program around VistA's technical and clinical processes, "with the goal of allowing Jordan to become self-sustainable in managing their health management information system and enabling them to take this offering to their neighbors in the region."

"Perot Systems' reputation as the leading healthcare technology solutions provider is very strong in the U.S.," said Dr. Rami Farraj, chairperson of the board of directors of E-Health Solutions, the non-profit Jordanian company that was entrusted with achieving this national goal. "When we were looking to initiate this project, we were first and foremost looking for a company that has the resources and capabilities to handle a national rollout of this project and become our partner. Perot Systems is that company."

Dr. Kevin Fickenscher, EVP and managing director for Perot Systems' International Healthcare unit, said, "The VistA Electronic Health Record ... for years has been used extensively by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This pilot project with the Kingdom of Jordan should enable the efficiency of the system to be maximized as well as helping to deliver improved clinical outcomes for the citizens of Jordan."

Nicast introduces NovaMesh

Nicast (Lod, Israel) reported the introduction of its NovaMesh for the treatment of ventral hernias at MEDICA 2008 in Dusseldorf, Germany, last month.

"NovaMesh is the first hernia mesh to exploit the unique properties of electrospun nanofabric. It offers improved resistance to tissue adhesion on the visceral-facing surface and promotes excellent tissue ingrowth on the fascial surface," said CEO Benjamin Eliason.

Nicast will also exhibited the AVflo vascular access graft for hemodialysis, its flagship product which received CE-mark certification in October. AVflo, a self-sealing vascular access graft, offers a prime alternative to current products, as it enables unobstructed blood flow, allows for dialysis within 24 to 48 hours after implantation and self-seals within less than five minutes following withdrawal of the dialysis needles.

It is simple to implant and to suture to blood vessels; the needle punctures and suture holes seal rapidly. AVflo also is strong enough to withstand the pressure of blood flow, yet thin enough for blood flow to be easily felt through it.

Nicast said it is in discussions with distributors from EU and Asian countries regarding first distribution agreements for this device.

"Nicast is one of the few companies with expertise in the use of electrospinning," said Dr. Jacob Dagan, chairman of the board. "The company's extensive product line is built on its many patents and various technology platforms. Other products in development at Nicast include non-metallic stents, a spinal disc device and drug release devices."

Nicast is a pioneer in the development of implantable medical devices made of electrospun polymer nanofabrics for a wide range of applications.

Expanded approval in Japan for QuickOpt

St. Jude Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) reported expanded approval from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for the QuickOpt Timing Cycle Optimization feature in the Epic HF and Atlas+ HF cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-Ds).

The QuickOpt capability allows physicians to easily test and optimize a patient's CRT-D to ensure that its pacing rhythm is customized to the individual patient's needs. This is important, St, Jude said, because heart disease is different in each patient, "so optimizing the devices helps to ensure that each patient receives the full benefit of device therapy."

The company said optimized timing "can increase the efficiency of the heart's ability to pump blood to the body. At a fraction of the time and cost of conventional echocardiogram-based optimizations, the QuickOpt feature can help physicians optimize more patients in less time through a simple procedure."

In 90 seconds during a regular follow-up visit, the QuickOpt feature can recommend the optimal A-V (atrial-ventricular) and V-V (ventricular-ventricular) timing values to use in programming the devices.

"QuickOpt optimization gives me the ability to precisely program the device to meet each patient's specific needs for treating their heart failure," said Hiroshi Nakajima, MD, of Itabashi Chuo Medical Center. "It allows me to check my patients' devices and adjust the timing whenever needed so that the therapy can be continuously optimized for each patient."

Two new test kits from China Medical

China Medical Technologies (Beijing, China) said it has completed the development of two molecular diagnostic kits for the detection of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) abnormalities in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The company said it expects to offer the kits to its hospital customers through its direct sales force in January.

Iressa and Tarceva are commonly used drugs for the treatment of patients with NSCLC. According to publications in medical journals, EGFR abnormalities have been found in about 85% of NSCLC patients responsive to Iressa and Tarceva. Some of these abnormalities could be identified by using FISH-based technique to detect increase in gene copy numbers; others could be detected by using real-time PCR-based technique to analyze EGFR gene mutations.

The company said it has developed both FISH and real-time PCR-based molecular diagnostic kits for detecting EGFR abnormalities. The test result provides guidance for physicians to determine the most appropriate therapy for patients with NSCLC.

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and is the leading cause of cancer death in China. It is estimated that more than 500,000 new lung cancer cases are diagnosed each year in that country.