A Medical Device Daily

CytoCore (Chicago) said it has entered into a five-year agreement which includes three one-year evergreen extensions with Grupo Palex (Barcelona, Spain) for distribution of the SoftPap Cervical Cell Collector in Spain.

Palex’s agreement calls for minimum sales of 600,000 units the first year, 1.2 million units the second, 2.4 million units minimum the third year, with 10% increases each year thereafter.

CytoCore CEO Robert McCullough Jr. said, “Palex has expertise in the diagnostic market and they have expressed an interest in helping us develop and expand the Automated Image-Guided Proteomic System (AIPS) platform. The AIPS system provides the cytologist with computerized assistance in the evaluation and review of conventionally and fluorescently stained cytology specimens. CytoCore is developing and testing fluorescent uterine and cervical cancer screening assays to work with the AIPS platform.

In other agreements:

• SCI Solutions (Los Gatos, California) reported it has signed TriStar Health System (Brentwood, Tennessee) on to its growing Order Facilitator customer base. Order Facilitator is SCI’s Internet-based, web solution for automating orders for hospital services from community physicians.

TriStar will use the Order Facilitator to automate their community physician order and Medical Necessity checking capabilities in 18 facilities.

“Physicians are a key customer for our health system and our goal is to not just meet their expectations, but to exceed them,” said Leslie Pierce, regional patient access director for TriStar Health System. “We continually seek to evaluate the business challenges our physicians face, and to learn how we can create an environment within our hospitals that removes as many barriers as possible. We believe Order Facilitator will be an excellent tool to help us achieve that objective in terms of streamlining the processes relating to patient scheduling.”

• Cardinal Health (Dublin, Ohio) has inked an alliance with Sentry Data Systems (Deerfield Beach, Florida) to deliver web-based technology that helps healthcare facilities implement, manage and meet the stringent compliance requirements of the federal 340B Drug Pricing Program.

The 340B Drug Pricing Program offers drug discounts to help eligible hospitals and other federally qualified health care facilities provide care for the nation’s underinsured and uninsured patients.

Participation in the program can lower pharmacy costs by an average of 24%. However, only a fraction of the more than 1,400 hospitals and 12,000 other eligible healthcare facilities are fully participating, primarily because managing program implementation and compliance can be labor-intensive. Entities that participate in the program are required to adhere to strict compliance measures to ensure the drug discounts are only claimed for drugs dispensed to eligible patients.

• Aperio Technologies (Vista, California) reported it has secured an exclusive worldwide license from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL, New Mexico) for the use of LANL’s Genetic Imagery Exploration (Genie Pro) image pattern recognition technology in the digital pathology market.

Aperio will incorporate Genie Pro into its Spectrum digital pathology information management software, enabling it to be used as a pre-processing engine for various tissue scoring algorithms, such as finding tumor regions in digital immunohistochemistry slides. Genie Pro also will be offered as a general pattern recognition tool for applications that include rare event detection, content-based image retrieval, and tissue classification.

“Incorporating a progressive analysis tool like Genie Pro into the Aperio product suite enables us to provide our customers with a next generation image pattern recognition technology for digital slide images that requires little training to create compelling results,” said Dirk Soenksen, founder and CEO of Aperio. “We view image analysis and pattern recognition capabilities as an important driver for the adoption of digital pathology.”

Genie Pro enables powerful pattern recognition tools to be tailored for specific applications, without software development or image analysis expertise.