A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Vital Images (Minneapolis), a provider of advanced visualization and analysis software, and Toshiba America Medical Systems (Tustin, California) have agreed to renew their global distribution agreement for five years, through Dec. 31, 2013.

Toshiba will offer Vital Images' solution through its subsidiaries and distributors in more than 50 countries in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and Asia, including Japan.

Toshiba Medical Systems, headquartered in Tochigi, Japan, has been providing Vital Images' solution as the advanced visualization and analysis software of choice to customers purchasing Toshiba's Aquilion and other CT scanners since 2000.

The lengthened term of the new contract demonstrates the past success and continued commitment that the two companies have in continuing their strategic relationship throughout the next five years.

In other agreements/contracts news:

• IVAX Diagnostics (Miami) reported that it has signed an agreement with Lin-Zhi International (Sunnyvale, California) that allows it to market and sell Lin-Zhi's full product line of oral fluid and urinary homogeneous enzyme immunoassay test products in Europe and the U.S.

The assays that IVAX Diagnostics will be distributing include drugs-of-abuse (DOA) tests to detect Ecstasy, Oxycodone, methadone, cocaine metabolite, amphetamines, opiate, methadone metabolite, Cotinine, and ethyl alcohol, among others.

According to BCC Research (Wellesley, Massachusetts), the total worldwide DOA testing market was $1.9 billion in 2007. BCC Research estimates that some 74% of the DOA testing value is located in the U.S., with the European Union representing another 19%.

Laboratory-based testing represents approximately 79% of the total worldwide DOA testing market.

IVAX Diagnostics develops proprietary diagnostic reagents, instrumentation and software in the U.S. and Italy.

• SonoSite (Washington) a specialist in hand-carried ultrasound at the point of care, said that HealthTrust Purchasing Group (Brentwood, Tennessee) has awarded SonoSite a contract for portable ultrasound. The contract covers SonoSite's M-Turbo , S Series and MicroMaxx product lines.

"We are very pleased to contract with one of the nation's most respected health purchasing groups," said Kevin Goodwin, SonoSite president/CEO. "SonoSite's products provide medical professionals with the power of ultrasound visualization and the benefits of hand-carried portability in an easy-to-use, rugged design that comes with the industry's only standard 5-year warranty."

SonoSite's portable ultrasound products provide point-of-care imaging across multiple clinical applications. Using SonoSite hand-carried ultrasound, the HealthTrust membership will have access at the point-of-care to ultrasound diagnostic imaging and real-time visual guidance for interventional procedures.

• Zotec Partners (Indianapolis), a company involved in medical billing, practice management and Radiology Information Systems software, said that Coast Radiology Imaging & Intervention (Mission Viejo, California) has renewed its billing services contract with the company for three years.

The physicians of Coast Radiology Imaging and Intervention offer patients Southern California's broadest range of subspecialties in radiology, providing the full complement of radiology services to Mission Hospital and Mission Imaging Center.

Coast Radiology Imaging also utilizes Zotec's Decision Support tool to drill down into information, including analyzing payers to see who is referring business to them and looking at practice trends, such as inpatient, outpatient and ER volumes.

Zotec Partners is a solutions-based firm serving the hospital-based specialty market. It offers a comprehensive suite of medical billing and practice management tools designed to make operations more efficient and productive in medical offices.