A Medical Device Daily

The UK's National Health Service (NHS) has awarded a multi-year contract to LaserBand (London) to provide a broad range of patient wristband products for immediate use in all hospitals of the NHS in England and Wales.

Under the new contract, LaserBand is the only approved provider of laser-printed wristbands, which the company noted enable clear printing of patient information as well as barcodes and even patient photos to ensure proper patient identification and significantly reduce medical errors.

LaserBand also offers an NHS-approved thermal-printed wristband option which uses the same format as the laser-printed option, enabling a dual-printing environment.

LaserBand's NHS award comes in response to a study published by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) in May 2007, which revealed that 72% of more than 24,000 annual errors studied in the UK resulted from instances where patients did not wear wristbands.

In early July 2007, the NPSA issued new advice to all NHS organizations on standardizing patient wristbands for hospitalized patients, defined a set of stringent wristband requirements, and required that by mid-July 2009, all NHS hospitals should implement a patient identification system to generate and print all patient wristbands from the hospital demographic system.

LaserBand said its products are the only patient identification wristbands in the global market that fulfill all wristband requirements established by the NPSA.

"A simple patient identification wristband can be the difference between the wrong treatment being administered and the right one," said Tony Rich, head of information management and technology for the Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh NHS Trust, which tested the LaserBand wristbands against competing products.

He added, "We believe that LaserBand wristbands provide [us] with a safe, high-quality, easy-to-implement solution for identifying patients properly, which will reduce the potential number of medical errors made in our hospitals."

LaserBand's products record patient data in handwritten, embossed/imprinted, laser-printed or direct thermal-printed form. The company said hospitals can start using LaserBand products immediately at their current technology level and use the same wristband as their technology infrastructure advances. For example, a hospital can handwrite patient data today on the same wristbands it will laser print in the future.

As the developer of the self-laminating patient wristband, LaserBand offers products that protect patient data and barcode information from washing and from liquids commonly found in a hospital, such as rubbing alcohol, saline or IV fluids.

CRO opens office in the Ukraine

Averion International (Southborough, Massachusetts), an international clinical research organization (CRO) specializing in oncology, cardiovascular diseases and medical devices, said it has strengthened its European operations by opening an office in the Ukraine.

"With our expansion into the Ukraine, Averion is continuing our growth strategy to provide our clients with international clinical trials services," said CEO Markus Weissbach, MD, PhD. "The Ukraine offers access to large patient populations, motivated investigators and a multitude of medical universities/academic institutions, all of which are critical to the successful conduct of international trials for Averion's clients."

He added, "We are currently working on several oncology and cardiology studies in the Ukraine and intend to further expand the operations in the coming months."

The Ukraine office is located in Kiev, and is being led by Evgeny Levenko, MD, PhD, affiliate manager for Averion Ukraine. Levenko brings to Averion more than 10 years of experience in managing clinical trials in the Ukraine, with particular expertise managing studies in cardiovascular diseases, pulmonology, central nervous system diseases, rheumatology and endocrinology.

He will oversee project management, monitoring, safety, medical writing and regulatory activities for Averion's studies being conducted in the Ukraine. The Kiev office is staffed with experienced clinical research associates, with additional staff expected to be hired in the coming months.

Averion's core competencies are in FDA and product registration support, site selection, project management, medical and site monitoring, data management, biometrics, pharmacovigilance, medical writing, and full clinical trial management services throughout the clinical trials lifecycle.

In addition to its headquarters in Massachusetts and the new Ukraine office, Averion has other U.S. offices in California, Maryland and New York, and additional offices outside the U.S. in Austria, France, Israel, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and the UK.

Health sensing platform introduced

Realtime Technologies (Dublin, Ireland) has introduced SHIMMER, a hardware research platform designed for wearable health sensing in both connected and wireless environments.

SHIMMER — which stands for Sensing Health with Intelligence, Modularity, Mobility and Experimental Reusability — uses a technology that Realtime has licensed from Intel (Santa Clara, California). The platform features a 2GB removable storage capacity and low-power, standards-based wireless communication technologies that enable stand-alone applications such as robust motion capture.

SHIMMER also can stream data to other devices to expand the scope of research applications. Realtime Technologies makes electronic manufacturing and design services.

New distributor for Misonix

Misonix (Farmingdale, New York) reported that it has entered into a new, three year, exclusive distribution agreement with Intermedica (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia) for the distribution of the Sonablate 500 High Intensity Focused Ultrasound System.

The agreement provides Intermedica with the rights to sell in Russia, Belarussia, Kazakstan and the Ukraine, and includes minimum purchase requirements.

Intermedica also maintains facilities in Moscow and distributes medical devices and capital equipment throughout the Russian Federation and surrounding countries, with special emphasis on neurosurgery, spinal surgery and oncologic surgery.