A Medical Device Daily

Advanced engineering and rapid prototyping company Kelyniam Global (Little Rock, Arkansas) said it has received a contract to produce cranial implant prototype models.

Kelyniam Engineering Division has been working very closely with a major medical supplier to implement rapid prototyping technologies in the custom production of cranial implants, the company said. It has had to overcome a number of hurdles prior to the commercial release of the product. Now that the process has been tested and proven, the company said its partners want to start selling these products as a better and safer alternative to the traditional implant methods.

"This represents a huge leap in healthcare," said John Mastoloni, VP of sales and marketing for Kelyniam. "With the implementation of CAD/CAM and rapid prototyping, we are looking to produce a high tolerance, more comfortable and reduced recovery time implant than was possible with traditional techniques."

Kelyniam Engineering Division has eight stereolithography machines that can be dedicated to this effort and a support staff available 24/7 to reaffirm Kelyniam's commitment to this contract, the company said.

"We recently expanded our production capabilities in anticipation of this new contract and are in the process of allocating more space and more machines toward this growth," said Thomas Ziolkowski, Kelyniam's engineering operations manager. "We have invested a significant amount of capital resources in restructuring our manufacturing and quality control processes as a means to absorb the anticipated increase in production."

All engineering development for this new technology is being performed at Kelyniam's engineering and manufacturing facility in New Britain, Connecticut, the company said.

In other grants/contracts news:

• Dilon Technologies (Newport News, Virginia), makers of a gamma imaging system optimized for early breast cancer detection, reported a three-year agreement with Amerinet (St. Louis), a group purchasing organization. Effective immediately, the relationship offers Amerinet's 26,000 acute and non-acute healthcare providers and their patients access to the Dilon 6800 Gamma Camera, used in detecting and diagnosing very early stage breast cancers.

The Dilon 6800 performs a molecular breast imaging technique called Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI), which can detect lesions independent of tissue density and discover very early stage cancers, Dilon said. BSGI serves as a complementary diagnostic adjunct procedure to mammography and ultrasound for difficult-to-diagnose patients. With BSGI, the patient receives a radioactive tracing agent that is absorbed by all the cells in the body.

Cancerous cells in the breast, due to their increased rate of metabolic activity, absorb a greater amount of the tracing agent than normal healthy cells, and generally appear as "hot spots" on the BSGI image, according to the company.

• Smiths Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) said it has been awarded a multi-year contract with HealthTrust Purchasing Group (Brentwood, Tennessee) to provide its Medfusion syringe infusion system and CADD ambulatory infusion system to HealthTrust's 1400-plus acute care hospitals and 3,000 alternate care members in the U.S.

The Medfusion 3500 syringe pump with PharmGuard medication safety software provides hospital clinicians with the ability to customize it to their institution's practices, Smiths said. Its innovations in syringe recognition, drug libraries, and programmable safety limits are designed to improve safety for clinicians and their patients.

The small, lightweight CADD-Prizm PCS II ambulatory infusion system allows hospitals to standardize on one pain management system, enhancing clinician familiarity, patient safety, and hospital efficiency, according to Smiths. Its medication safety software allows clinicians to configure the system with standard hospital protocols to minimize pump programming errors and time. Clinicians can easily differentiate epidural infusions by configuring the system with a yellow pump keypad, medication cassette reservoir, tubing set, or lockbox.

The portable CADD-Legacy PCA pump, with exclusive CADD Medication Cassette Reservoirs, is designed to minimize the impact of pain therapy on normal life at home while enhancing patient satisfaction and treatment outcomes.

• Tenet Healthcare (Dallas) said it has reached a three-year agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida that includes all commercial and Medicare products offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida including Health Options, Network Blue, Preferred Provider Contract (PPC), Preferred Hospital System (PHS), Workers Compensation and Advantage 65, which is a Medicare supplement.

The agreement covers Tenet's 10 acute-care hospitals in Florida and Pinecrest Rehabilitation Hospital, a 90-bed rehabilitation facility in Delray Beach.

• Premier Purchasing Partners (Charlotte, North Carolina) said it has awarded new agreements for central venous access products to Arrow International (Reading, Pennsylvania), Bard Access Systems (Salt Lake City, Utah), and Edwards Lifesciences (Irvine, California).

The new portfolio combines two previous categories: peripherally inserted central catheters, midlines and long-term central venous catheters; and central venous catheters.

The 36-month agreements, effective Aug. 1, are available for acute-care and continuum-of-care Premier members.