A Medical Device Daily

ZIN Technologies (Brook Park, Ohio) and the Cleveland Clinic have completed the formation of ZIN Medical (also Brook Park). ZIN Technologies has a majority ownership interest in the company.

ZIN Medical makes advanced wireless monitoring products that provide vital sign and other physiologic parameter storage, analysis, and transmission outside of the hospital or clinical setting back to patient electronic medical record (EMR) systems. ZIN Medical also makes back-end software applications designed for clinical research and patient disease management.

The company's initial product, vMetrics, is a wireless biomedical monitoring device about the size of a Palm Pilot that can monitor several parameters, such as blood pressure, pulse oximetry, pulse, EMG, and ECG. Sensors for each parameter or vital signs are attached to the vMetrics device and the data is wirelessly and securely transmitted from a remote location to the healthcare provider, or directly into a patient's electronic medical record.

The company said an advantage of vMetrics is its modularity, allowing it to be adapted to various disease states and to communicate across various standard network or wireless protocols.

"Remote patient monitoring is a rapidly expanding market that plays a critical role as hospitals attempt to manage increases in ageing but mobile patient populations," said Daryl Laisure, CEO of ZIN Medical. The company said that cellular and network based multi-parameter monitoring systems will benefit pre- and post-operative, long-term Coumadin and sleep apnea patients. Additional market opportunities for vMetrics include clinical test trials, military applications and the consumer wellness market."

Earlier this month, Zin Medical was awarded a share of a $2.93 million grant from the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center (GCIC; Cleveland), a Wright Mega Center of Innovation funded by the Ohio Third Frontier Program, as part of that group's third round of commercialization funding awards (Medical Device Daily, Sept. 12, 2008).

ZIN Technologies and Cleveland Clinic have been collaborating with NASA Glenn Research Center on compact wireless biometric monitoring for astronaut and extravehicular activity (EVA) applications for a number of years. The genesis of this biometric monitoring technology stems from space vehicle vibration/acceleration distributed sensing systems designed by ZIN Technologies that are currently used on the International Space Station (ISS). These systems have been used for nearly two decades on the Space Shuttle, MIR and now ISS. ZIN Technologies has recently completed a NASA Phase I SBIR to integrate this technology into the next generation astronaut space suit, expanding its capabilities.

In other dealmaking news:

• Accuray (Sunnyvale, California), a developer of radiosurgery technology, reported that it is partnering with Morphormics (Chapel Hill, North Carolina), a start-up company out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in the development and licensing of autocontouring technology. The technology automatically identifies and draws the boundaries of the prostate and surrounding critical structures, enabling the treatment planning software to focus radiation dose on the prostate and minimize delivering dose to the surrounding critical structures. Accuray said this partnership reflects its focus on advanced technologies to improve the treatment of prostate cancer.

Traditionally in radiation oncology treatment planning, a CT scan is acquired and clinicians work slice by slice to contour – or draw – the patient's anatomy by hand. This process can be challenging and time consuming because the planning CT image offers poor contrast, making it difficult to distinguish the boundaries between the prostate, bladder and rectum.

Autocontouring – also called autosegmentation – is designed to help clinicians save time and improve the efficiency of their contouring by offering estimated anatomical boundary contours for the prostate and surrounding anatomy that can be matched to the patient's CT scan using corresponding image points.

"We looked at a number of companies and believe Morphormics offers the best technology to help our customers improve their productivity and patient outcomes," said Euan Thomson, PhD, president/CEO of Accuray.

"We are excited to have Accuray as our first customer and look forward to partnering with them to develop our autocontouring technology," said Ed Chaney, founder of Morphormics and professor of Radiation Oncology and Biomedical Engineering at UNC Chapel Hill. "As a medical physicist myself, I recognize the importance of extreme accuracy and precision in cancer care and believe this technology is a significant advancement in prostate cancer planning and workflow."

• Tenet Healthcare (Dallas) reported that a Tenet subsidiary purchased the 245-bed Tarzana campus of Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center (Tarzana, California) from HCP (Long Beach, California), and simultaneously sold it to Providence Health & Services – California (Burbank). These events complete the previously disclosed transaction reported on July 1, 2008. The related sale of the Encino campus closed on June 2, 2008.

Also, a Tenet subsidiary sold its interest in a joint venture with HCP. The proceeds of the sales, which were not disclosed, will be used for general corporate purposes.

Tenet, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates acute care hospitals and related ancillary healthcare businesses, which include ambulatory surgery centers and diagnostic imaging centers.