• America Hears (Bristol, Pennsylvania) reported it will standardize its family of premium digital hearing aids on the Voyaguer digital signal processing (DSP) platform from Sound Design Technologies (Ontario, Canada). The two companies also reported a joint development agreement to enhance the Voyaguer semiconductor platform with new capabilities "to deliver the world's best listening experience to hearing-aid customers." Standardizing on the Voyaguer DSP platform, America Hears said it will deliver customer benefits that include smaller hearing aids, longer battery life, and better sound processing utilizing the Adaptive Dynamic Range Optimization (ADRO) amplifier algorithm developed by Dynamic Hearing (Melbourne, Australia) for America Hears.

• CompuMed (Los Angeles), a medical informatics company serving the healthcare community with diagnostic software solutions, reported a contract to provide electrocardiogram (ECG) remote interpretation services for state correctional facilities in Arizona through the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC). CompuMed will provide remote cardiac screening on an as needed basis for more than 30,000 detainees at the Department's correctional facilities statewide. CompuMed now has 44 CardioGram systems at correctional sites throughout Arizona. The ADC agreement contains options for multiple renewals/extensions.

• Conmed Healthcare Management (Hanover, Maryland), a provider of correctional facility healthcare services, said it has signed an initial contract with Pima County, Arizona, to immediately establish and implement, in coordination with the county and its existing vendor, a transition plan designed to effectuate a seamless transition of medical, dental and behavioral health services at the Pima County Adult Detention Center from the existing vendor to Conmed by Aug. 1.

• InSight Health Services Holdings (Lake Forest, California) reported that one of its subsidiaries has entered into a long-term agreement with Los Angeles County in California to provide MRI services at four county-owned academic medical centers: Harbor-UCLA, Martin Luther King, Jr./Drew Medical Center; Olive View-UCLA Medical Center and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.

• Gamida Cell (Jerusalem) reported a collaboration agreement with Biologics Delivery Systems Group (BDSG), a unit of Cordis (both Miami Lakes, Florida). BDSG will supply catheters for the upcoming Phase 1/II clinical trial of Gamida Cell's CardioCure product for the treatment of post-myocardial infarction (heart attack) patients. CardioCure is a proprietary ex vivo expanded autologous (from the patient's body) bone marrow product. The randomized, controlled multi-center Phase I/II clinical trial, due to start in 4Q08 in Israel, will evaluate the safety and efficacy of Gamida Cell's CardioCure in 48 post-MI patients. CardioCure will be injected directly into the myocardium using the latest generation of the BDSG NOGA cardiac navigation system and MyoStar injection catheter. Pre-clinical results demonstrate that CardioCure may offer a better therapeutic alternative to existing treatments. The data indicate that it may prevent or lessen some of the damage caused to the heart muscle as a result of a heart attack.

• Hoana Medical (Honolulu, Hawaii) reported new partnerships with a large healthcare system in Pennsylvania, the Veterans Administration (VA) with VA hospitals in Florida and Nebraska, and the U.S. Army to improve patient safety in acute-care hospitals. Hospital experience has shown that rapid response teams (RRT) are not effective if the patient is found too late - many times patients are found deceased. Hoana's LifeBed Patient Vigilance System identifies patients as they begin to deteriorate and immediately notifies the hospital nursing staff with no visible connection to the patient whatsoever. This partnership, referred to as PIMA (for Personal Intelligent Medical Assistant), will examine how finding a patient in distress early reduces the risk of negative outcomes, injury or death, and reduces the cost to the hospital. Although the VA recently awarded Hoana a federal supply contract to outfit VA hospital beds at $16.20/day/bed, this program is funded with $1.7 million from the U.S. Army Medical Research Command and the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center.

• NorthPoint Domain (Boston) has reported a collaboration with the Cardiovascular Center of Boston Medical Center (BMC; Boston) to apply advanced Internet patient engagement instruments to BMC's cardiac robotic surgery program. Also known as medical informatics instruments (MIIs), these tools are used by clinicians as informational and interactive tools that involve patients and their families in the care process. The partnership is an extension of the relationship between NorthPoint and the BMC Cardiovascular Center. NorthPoint will work with the Cardiovascular Center to tailor its MII platforms, complementing the advanced robotic surgery technology being used at BMC.

The Premier (Charlotte, North Carolina) healthcare alliance is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; Atlanta) on an initiative to eliminate occupational injuries from needlesticks and other sharp objects. As part of this initiative, a comprehensive workbook on sharps injury prevention, along with wall signs and an educational CD-ROM, are being made available to healthcare administrators and staff involved in sharps injury prevention activities.

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