A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

ICx Technologies (Arlington, Virginia), a developer of sensor technologies for homeland security, force protection and commercial applications, reported receiving a $4.9 million, Phase IIb R&D contract under the Department of Homeland Security's "Detect to Protect" project, designed to develop rapid sensors that can influence actions to limit exposure to an attack involving biological agents.

The objective of Phase IIb is to finish prototype development for a system that will be able to detect and identify a list of 10 bioterrorism threats, including bacteria, viruses, and toxins, all with a response time of 15 minutes or less.

The company said the process is automated and includes the efficient extraction of DNA and RNA from an environmental sample, purification of the DNA/RNA, amplification via multiplex polymerase chain reaction techniques, and identification of the threat-specific DNA sequences.

The platform also can concurrently perform immunoassays to detect toxins in less than 10 minutes and the process is "amenable" to portable battery-powered operation.

ICx develops sensors that detect and identify chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats.

In other contract news:

• CompuMed (Los Angeles) reported that it has won a statewide contract in conjunction with Wexford Health Sources (Pittsburgh) to provide electrocardiogram (ECG) remote interpretation systems and cardiologist overread services to the West Virginia Division of Corrections.

CompuMed's CardioGram system will be used to perform remote cardiac screening for detainees in the state's correctional facilities. Cardiologists will perform overreads on all abnormal tests. CompuMed is a value-added partner of Wexford.

CompuMed's core business is providing remote ECG interpretation services to medical facilities that may not have access to trained physicians qualified to interpret ECG results. Customers for the company's CardioGram system are typically correctional facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, occupational health clinics, rural health facilities and physicians' offices.

The system reduces healthcare costs significantly by providing remote cardiac screening at the point of care. The company said one of the CardioGram's advantages is an optional feature that automatically sends ECG results to a trained cardiologist for an overread when the results are abnormal.

CompuMed uses advanced imaging and medical informatics to provide analysis and remote monitoring in connection with cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases.

• Florida Cardiology (Miami), a multi-site medical practice with 18 cardiologists, has selected the Intergy EHR from Sage Electronic Health Records and Intergy by Sage Practice Management System (both Tampa, Florida).

Florida Cardiology will deploy these web-based solutions at eight office locations equipped with diagnostic facilities and a freestanding cardiac catheterization laboratory and two satellite offices in the greater Orlando area.

Florida Cardiology's roughly 120 clinicians and clinical support staff provide comprehensive adult cardiology services that include noninvasive/invasive diagnostic procedures and therapeutic interventions.

Intergy EHR's set of cardiology-specific templates including content for general cardiology, interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, and vascular subspecialties will enable improved care as well as timely, accurate coding and billing to facilitate reimbursement, the company said.

Sage Software's Healthcare unit provides integrated electronic health records, EDI applications and practice management systems to thousands of ambulatory care practices throughout North America.

• Clarient (Aliso Viejo, California) an anatomic pathology and molecular testing services resource for pathologists, oncologists and the pharmaceutical industry, reported that it has signed a one-year agreement with Joint Venture Hospital Laboratories (JVHL; Allen Park, Michigan) to provide a wide range of cancer testing to its 120 hospital-affiliated labs. The agreement is renewable after the first year.

"This partnership provides more testing options for the pathologists and hospitals in the JVHL network," said Paul Valenstein, MD, president of JVHL. "We are encouraged by this new relationship with Clarient and are pleased to provide our doctors with the benefit of Clarient's cancer assays."