A Medical Device Daily

Zoll Medical (Chelmsford, Massachusetts), a maker of resuscitation devices and related software solutions, said that Kuopio University Hospital (KUH), one of the largest hospitals in Finland, has installed the company's AutoPulse Non-invasive Cardiac Support Pump in its intensive care department. Zoll said that KUH is the first hospital in Finland to establish protocols for using the AutoPulse.

Jouni Kurola, MD, of the department of anesthesiology and intensive care at the 800-bed hospital, recommended the implementation following a successful evaluation of an AutoPulse provided to the hospital by Zoll.

"It is remarkable to see how fast our nursing staff adopted the AutoPulse system in our intensive care unit," he said. "The AutoPulse gives us the opportunity to provide the best possible care for sudden cardiac arrest victims. Our colleagues in interventional cardiology have learned from our successes and now use the device as well."

AutoPulse is an automated, portable device with what Zoll terms "an easy-to-use, load-distributing LifeBand that squeezes a wider area of the chest in a consistent, uninterrupted 'hands-free' manner, improving blood flow to the heart and brain during cardiac arrest. Additionally, it offers the benefit of freeing up rescuers to focus on other life-saving interventions."

"We're pleased that Kuopio University hospital, one of the largest and most respected in Finland, has recognized the potential the AutoPulse has to provide care for SCA victims in their intensive care department and cath lab by delivering consistent, high-quality chest compressions," said Richard Packer, chairman/CEO of Zoll.

To date, about 3,000 AutoPulse units have been deployed in hospitals and emergency services worldwide.

Sudden cardiac arrest claims more than 1 million lives each year worldwide, Zoll said. It is the leading cause of unexpected death in the world and strikes without warning. Currently, only about 5% of victims survive.

Zoll sells its products in more than 140 countries, with direct operations, distributor networks and business partners throughout the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia, and Australia.

Swedish region in PACS contract

Sectra (Linköping, Sweden) said it has signed a five-year contract with Sweden's Region Skåne regarding a digital solution for managing and archiving radiology images (PACS). With this order, Sectra said it will replace existing systems at the university hospitals in Malmo and Lund.

The initial order value amounts to SEK 30 million.

"With this new, common digital solution for managing radiology images, we are taking an important step towards more efficient cooperation and use of resources within the radiology operations in our region," says Hans Stridbeck, regional chief medical officer.

The agreement includes an option to connect the other radiology departments as well as nuclear medicine and cardiology imaging units in the region to the central backbone solution that Sectra is establishing with Region Skåne.

"Region Skåne's procurement is the largest in Sweden this year for IT systems for radiology departments," said Marie Ekström, president of Sectra's medical operations in Scandinavia. "The need for systems that facilitate cooperation and communication is substantial and the holistic approach taken by Region Skåne for the IT structure of radiology operations is a model for other care providers."

Region Skåne, a regional public body responsible for health, medical and dental services, includes 10 hospitals that conduct more than 900,000 radiology examinations annually. All the hospitals in the region are already are operating with Sectra's system for managing radiology information.

Region Skåne also recently ordered an IT solution, Master Examination Index, from Sectra that enhances the efficiency of radiology cooperation within and outside the region.

Roche amends UPL agreement

Roche Diagnostics (Penzberg, Germany) and Exiqon (Vedbaek, Denmark), a provider of gene expression analysis products, reported that they have signed an amendment to their 2005 license and distribution agreement for the Universal ProbeLibrary (UPL), based on Exiqon's Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) Oligonucleotides.

Under the terms of the amended agreement, Roche's exclusive rights to sell and distribute the ProbeLibrary products are extended on a co-exclusive basis. In addition, Roche obtains co-exclusive rights to use the UPL for the development and manufacturing of its new line of RealTime ready qPCR assays. With the RealTime ready assay line, Roche Applied Science will offer a fully customizable portfolio of validated target specific gene expression assays for quantitative PCR in single assay format and multi-well plate format, pre-plated in 96- and 384-well qPCR plates for the LightCycler System.

"This agreement allows us to continue our successful business with the Universal ProbeLibrary products," said Manfred Baier, head of Roche Applied Science, a business area within Roche Diagnostics. "We will address the current need for increased speed and flexibility in biomedical research providing customized on demand supply of single assays and ready-to-use qPCR panels for virtually every gene of the human genome and other important organisms."

He added, "The Universal ProbeLibrary products supplement our broad existing portfolio of RealTime PCR products in the best possible way."

Lars Kongsbak, president/CEO of Exiqon, said, "This extension of our successful partnership with Roche allows the application of the technology of for Exiqon's LNA detection in the new and fast-growing market for ready-to-use and customizable RealTime PCR products. We are exited to have Roche Diagnostics, who is a leader in the RealTime PCR market, embrace the technology of LNA detection in their new product offering."