A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Bausch & Lomb (B&L; Rochester, New York) and 20/10 Perfect Vision AG, (Heidelberg, Germany) the femtosecond laser developer, reported an intent to form a joint venture focused on the laser vision correction industry. The joint venture will combine the refractive eye surgery assets of both businesses, delivering 20/10 Perfect Vision's promising new technology for the correction of presbyopia in conjunction with B&L's development expertise and worldwide commercial reach.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2008. Financial terms will not be disclosed.

"We believe that our investment of assets in the joint venture will help advance the refractive industry, benefiting ophthalmologists and patients worldwide," said Gerald Ostrov, chairman/CEO of B&L.

He added, "20/10 Perfect Vision's development of presbyopia-correcting treatments using its FEMTEC femtosecond laser — when paired with our proven refractive products, R&D insights and global sales and marketing resources — holds tremendous potential to stimulate growth in corneal refractive surgery."

B&L currently manufactures refractive surgery products including the Zyoptix Personalized Laser Vision Correction System, the Zyoptix XP microkeratome, and related diagnostics products.

In another new venture, Merge Healthcare (Milwaukee), an imaging solutions provider, reported the launch of its Managed Services initiative.

The first service of the initiative is Merge Off Site Disaster Recovery, which provides HIPAA compliant back up of radiology images and information. This service provides hospitals and imaging centers with a business continuity solution in the event of system failure, unplanned downtime or natural disaster.

Merge's Off Site Disaster Recovery service includes 24/7 system monitoring via Merge's proprietary ViewCheck software. The company's tiered offering provides on-demand access and unlimited online retrieval of archived studies, an audit trail of all studies from the customer site to Merge's Data Center and on site recovery services.