A Medical Device Daily

Zargis Medical (Princeton, New Jersey) reported that it was awarded six additional contracts from the U.S. Army totaling $270,000. Included in these awards is $170,000 of orders for nine upgraded versions of the telemedicine pilot systems that Zargis delivered to the Army earlier this year.

Based on the Army's evaluation of the initial prototypes in a large military hospital, it has decided to expand the scope of the project and purchase these additional units.

The upgraded systems provide improved data collection quality and are designed to record, synchronize and analyze heart sounds, lung sounds, ECG signals and, in some cases, blood oxygen saturation levels from patients being cared for by remote military treatment facilities located throughout the Pacific Rim. The systems will be fully integrated with an existing Army telehealth platform.

"We're very pleased by the success of the prototype telemedicine systems delivered to the Army earlier this year," said Zargis CEO John Kallassy. "The demand for medical systems designed to remotely project the expertise of cardiologists and other medical specialists is growing very rapidly — within both military and civilian environments worldwide — and it is for this reason that Zargis has identified the field of telemedicine as a key focus area for commercialization of our products."

In other agreements/contracts news:

• GenerationOne (Miami) and researchers from the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine and College of Engineering have initiated joint development to leverage mobile healthcare technologies and telemedicine to contribute to the care of individuals with chronic diseases.

A primary focus of the relationship will be advancing the GenerationOne mobile health solution, which uses mobile technology and proprietary phones to engage individuals in the active management of their chronic conditions and wellness. Advanced scripts and disease management protocols developed in collaboration with the university will deliver clinical decision support through GenerationOne's solution to guide and monitor individuals throughout their daily care routines.

The GenerationOne mobile health solution alerts individuals to take medications or perform other prescribed activities like testing blood glucose or blood pressure.

• Health Enterprises Cooperative (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) has formed a new partnership with ServiShare (Des Moines, Iowa), the shared-services arm of the Iowa Hospital Association (also Des Moines).

ServiShare now offers the Premier Healthcare Alliance's (San Diego) group purchasing network to affiliated hospitals as well as many State of Iowa facilities and agencies.

Four hospitals have already switched to the new venture, which was formalized on July 1. Several more are scheduled make the change in coming weeks.

• Premier Purchasing Partners (San Diego) reported new agreements for intra-aortic balloon catheters and pumps have been awarded to Arrow International (Reading, Pennsylvania), and Datascope (Montvale, New Jersey). Effective Nov. 1, the 36-month agreements take effect Nov. 1.

Premier Purchasing Partners also reported that a new agreement has been awarded to CHF Solutions (Brooklyn Park, Minnesota) in a new category, aquapheresis therapy products, which are used to treat fluid-overloaded patients. The 36-month agreement took effect Oct. 1.

Additionally, new agreements for hemostasis and compression products for use in cardiology were signed with Abbott Laboratories (Abbott Park, Illinois), and TZ Medical (Portland, Oregon). The 36-month agreements take effect Nov. 1

All of the above agreements are available to acute-care and continuum-of-care members of the Premier healthcare alliance.

• Impulse Monitoring (IMI; Columbia, Maryland), a provider of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) services to hospitals, has signed an agreement with Charlton Memorial Hospital (Fall River, Massachusetts), a branch of Southcoast Hospitals Group. IMI will provide Charlton Memorial IONM services including training of Charlton's neurophysiologists as well as monitoring by IMI-qualified neurophysiologists and real-time professional oversight by experienced physicians.

• HealthTrio (Centennial, Colorado), a health information technology company, reported that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Defense to expand its South Carolina Personal Health Record pilot project called My Personal Health Record, South Carolina (MyPHRSC), powered by the HealthTrio PHR solution.

Under the expanded pilot project, Department of Defense beneficiaries who have both Medicare and TRICARE can authorize MyPHRSC to electronically provide TRICARE data to their existing MyPHRSC personal health record (PHR). Initially, active medications will be made available, with the potential for additional data to be made available in the future.

MyPHRSC is a pilot program that enables Medicare beneficiaries with original Medicare in South Carolina to collect and access information about their health and healthcare services electronically.

• Planned Systems International (Falls Church, Virginia) reported that it has been awarded the CDM Development Services contract by the Tricare Management Activity (TMA) Defense Health Services Systems (DHSS).

Under this contract, PSI will be designing and developing the next generation of the CDM, a set of patient-centric data from the MHS Clinical Data Repository supporting the Department of Defense's longitudinal electronic health record. CDM enables analysts and healthcare professionals to measure, analyze, and manage performance of patient care, wellness, prevention, and disease management with the goal of improving the quality of care delivered.

• Zotec Partners (Indianapolis) reported that Yakima Valley Radiology (YVR; Yakima, Washington), has licensed the Electronic Billing Center practice management/billing software suite.

The nine-radiologist practice selected the software to streamline the billing process, enhance workflow management, eliminate unnecessary labor, track productivity and receive payments from patients in a timely manner.

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