A Medical Device Daily

Digital Angel, (ST. Paul, Minnesota), a devleoper of rapid and accurate identification, location tracking and condition monitoring, reported that it has receiving an order for 630,000 compliant radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags valued at more than $600,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The cattle ear tags will be used for USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)/Veterinary Services State-Federal Cooperative Disease control and eradication efforts in targeted, increased-risk geographic locations.

Barry Edelstein, interim president/CEO of Digital Angel, said that the order “exemplifies our expertise in providing high-quality products at competitive prices. We were the first animal tag manufacturer to be designated as an Animal Identification (AIN) tag manufacturer by the USDA, which signifies that our tagging system is capable of identifying livestock with the unique, lifetime animal identification number that is being established as a national standard through the NAIS. We are proud that we continue to be a provider of choice for the USDA.”

Since 1948 Digital Angel’s livestock tags have been utilized by ranchers across the world to protect their property from theft or loss and, more recently, to control the spread of disease and improve herd management.

Following the December 2003 incident of Mad Cow Disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) in the state of Washington, the USDA initiated the development of a national animal identification program for cattle, with a target completion date of 2008-09. The NAIS, a cooperative program between state and federal governments and the livestock industry to help trace, manage and eradicate animal diseases like Mad Cow Disease, Foot and Mouth Disease, Pseudo-Rabies Disease and Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome in pigs, is being run by APHIS. APHIS launched the voluntary NAIS in 2004 with the premises registration system and is now continuing its advancement by implementing the animal identification component.

Under the NAIS, electronic ID (EID) devices must be approved by USDA. Digital Angel has approval on its EID and transponder devices for livestock. The company said it will be submitting its new sheep and goat EID device for approval shortly.

In other contract news: Dialog Medical (Cary, North Carolina), a provider of informed consent and patient education systems for hospitals and physician practices, reported a contract for its iMedConsent application with Piedmont Hospital (Atlanta).

iMedConsent includes procedure-specific consent forms for more than 2,100 medical and surgical procedures; patient education documents for thousands of diagnoses and treatments; and an extensive anatomical image gallery that allows the physician to annotate images and simplify complex topics for the patient. In addition, the application automates the completion of patient documentation ranging from HIPAA disclosures to advance directives, including the digital capture of signatures, paperless storage of signed documents and electronic notation in the patient’s medical record.

In grant news: The University of Michigan Health System (Ann Arbor) has received a $22 million from A. Alfred Taubman to develop the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute.

Taubman’s gift creates an endowment whose earnings will fund the institute, and the research of individual Taubman Scholars within the institute.

The first five Taubman Scholars have already been chosen from among the medical school’s top scientists, selected for creativity and research.