• CaridianBCT (Lakewood, Colorado) said that it has initiated a clinical trial for treating whole blood with Mirasol Pathogen Reduction Technology (PRT) after receiving clearance from the FDA and U.S. Department of Defense. The Mirasol PRT system is a technology that uses riboflavin and UV light to reduce the levels of infectious pathogens and inactivate white cells from collected blood, improving the safety of transfused blood. The Mirasol PRT system is a new technology based on ultraviolet light and riboflavin (vitamin B2) that has the potential to reduce infectious pathogens and inactivate white cells in all three major blood components: platelets, plasma, and red blood cells. A feature of Mirasol is its use of riboflavin, a compound that has been shown to be non-toxic and non-mutagenic.

• Deep Breeze (Berlin) reported the latest study results comparing vibration response imaging (VRI) to conventional procedures of assessing regional lung function measurement. The study measured the effectiveness of VRI for the evaluation of lung function compared to functional respiratory tests, before and after thoracic surgery. In addition, Deep Breeze has launched a strategic program to include the VRIxp as an integral part of the guidelines for physiologic evaluation of patients with lung cancer being considered for resectional surgery. The VRIxp system is based on vibration response generated by the air passing through the lungs. The system records these vibrations and then uses an algorithm to convert the data into images. Changes in tissue composition or alteration in airflow impact how sounds within the lungs vibrate, and subsequently how the VRIxp images appear on the system's computer screen. The result offers physicians a dynamic functional lung image obtained passively at the bedside, and without radiation.

• Given Imaging (Yoqneam, Israel) reported the launch of RAPID 5 Access, new software that facilitates physicians' reading PillCam videos anytime, anywhere with the most advanced software tools. This new software also enables network-based storage of PillCam studies and the import and export of patient data to and from electronic medical record systems. In addition, RAPID 5 Access makes available all of the latest capabilities and features offered by RAPID 5, the latest PillCam capsule endoscopy reading software.

• Orthofix International (Boston) said it received approval for its next-generation Firebird spinal fixation system. Firebird is a comprehensive system with a modular screw designed to provide surgeons with intra-operative flexibility during various thoracolumbar spine procedures, including the treatment of degenerative disc disease and deformity corrections. The Firebird system can also be used during a minimally invasive surgical approach in conjunction with instrumentation available in the company's ProView minimal access portal system.

• Simbionix (Cleveland) said that the PROcedure rehearsal studio, the company's latest medical simulation system, is the world's first medical simulator that enables clinicians to create practice scenarios based on their patient's pathology and anatomy. Gary Zamler, CEO of Simbionix, sees the launch of Procedure as "a quantum leap in the world of medical simulation that has the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes while reducing healthcare costs."

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