A Medical Device Daily

ArthroCare (Austin, Texas) reported the European launch of the Quantum Pump, which it said is "the only arthroscopy system to intelligently integrate joint fluid management, radio frequency wands, and mechanical shaving instruments into one single console all features ensuring optimal visualization, increased operating room efficiency and enhanced safety."

"We're very excited about the European launch of the Quantum Pump," said Jack Giroux, president of ArthroCare Sports Medicine. "It is genuinely the first system of its kind designed to both improve operating room efficiency and patient outcomes by intelligently integrating all the main functions in the arthroscopic procedure into one system."

The device provides surgeons with independent control of flow and pressure, and a built-in outflow tracking system to ensure constant volume of fluid to the operative site, according to the company.

Other elements of the Quantum Pump's design include joint selection settings which can be pre-selected for pressure, flow, Smart Vision and Outflow Tracking preferences. The Smart Vision preference can regulate flow and/or pressure when blood and debris are detected, and the display screen offers multi-lingual instruction ideal for the European market.

Giroux said the company expects to begin fulfilling European surgeons' requests for the device within the next month.

ArthroCare intends to seek 510(k) clearance for the pump in the U.S. later this year.

Irish cancer screening tied to Quest

Quest Diagnostics (Madison, New Jersey), a global leader in cervical-cancer screening services, will soon begin offering those services in Ireland under a new nationwide program.

Through a contract with the Irish National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS), Quest will provide screening services intended to improve medical outcomes and reduce wait time for women ages 25 to 60 who participate in that country's first broad-based cytology-screening program.

Ronald Kennedy, MD, Quest's corporate medical director, quality assurance in anatomic pathology, said, "Our goal for this historic cytology-screening program is to ensure that Irish women experience the highest quality of testing and service excellence, with the goal of minimizing the incidence of cervical cancer."

Quest's relationship with the medical community of Ireland began in 2006, when the Health Service Executive (HSE), the national health administrator for Ireland, engaged the company's services of to help reduce a critical backlog of Pap-based cervical-cancer tests that required screening. Since early 2007, Quest has performed about 50,000 Pap smears in connection with this continuing project, helping to improve the delivery of timely results.

Under the new screening program, Quest will perform testing on roughly 300,000 Pap smears annually at two accredited, full-service laboratories in the U.S. It operates about 30 accredited, full-service laboratories in the U.S. that could provide backup capabilities if required.

Additionally, the company will provide general practitioners and consultant colposcopists in Ireland with a toll-free phone number to consult with Quest's medical experts about a patient's test results.

"We applaud the NCSS for its commitment to developing a nationwide program designed to improve the health of women through regular cervical-cancer screening," said Kenneth Finnegan, vice president, international, at Quest.

Europe, Middle East in WiFiMed's sights

WiFiMed Holdings (Atlanta), a provider of physician workflow solutions, reported that it has formulated an international expansion strategy designed to broaden its position within the European and Middle East markets.

The top priorities for the expansion strategy include developing a strong presence in both Europe and the Middle East, expanding distribution of the product line in Europe, and acquisition of European companies within the electronic health record industry with synergetic products/services to the company's product line.

WiFiMed said it has retained the services of Balmoral Capital Holdings to support its entry, expansion and business-building activities in both Europe and the Middle East. Specifically, Balmoral will assist in identifying potential acquisition candidates in the UK and raise the needed capital for the acquisitions through its worldwide investor network.

"The expansion of our business into Europe is an important step forward," said CEO Gregory Vacca. "There exists a strong and immediate need [in Europe] to automate data collection during the patient encounter and the market potential is extensive. The time is right to respond to this demand with a local presence."

The company said that by expanding internationally, it not only increases its target market but also increases the potential to make further advancements in its technological solutions for physicians.

Through three subsidiaries — WiFiMed Inc., EncounterPRO Healthcare Resources and CyberMedx Medical Systems — WiFiMed Holdings offers solutions enabling physicians and other healthcare providers to document the physician-patient encounter through continuously updated technologies.

Italian distribution deal for InnerCool?

InnerCool Therapies, the operating unit of Cardium Therapeutics (San Diego), said it has entered into an exclusive commercialization agreement with N.G.C. Medical, an Italian distributor of medical products.

The agreement covers InnerCool's CoolBlue, a surface cooling temperature modulation system, which was launched in the U.S. market during 4Q07, as well as its Celsius Control endovascular system and next-generation, high-performance RapidBlue system.

N.G.C. Medical's marketing and sales force is expected to begin sales of CoolBlue and RapidBlue consoles and disposables in 3Q08.

Christopher Reinhard, chairman/CEO of Cardium and InnerCool, said the new Italian partnership, along with the company's recent distribution agreements for Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, "are consistent with our strategy of accelerating the growth of InnerCool's temperature-modulation business in a strategic, efficient and cost-effective manner by establishing relationships with existing specialized sales organizations."