A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Aurora Imaging Technology (North Andover, Massachusetts) reported the introduction in Italy of a mobile Aurora 1.5 Tesla dedicated breast MRI system.

The Aurora system is offered by Paramed (Genoa, Italy), and is designed to travel throughout Italy for short-term use by some of that country's leading breast cancer specialists.

"Italian physicians are fully aware of the high clinical efficacy of breast MRI. Unfortunately, due to the limited availability of MRI systems capable of performing the more complicated and lengthy breast MRI exams, patients often have to wait as long as six months for examinations," said Roberto Dutto, president of Paramed. "By mobilizing the Aurora system, it has immediately allowed us to serve many more physicians in key regions and has helped to address the significant increase in demand for breast MRI."

He added, "It also will allow the enhancement of valuable networking among breast cancer specialists in our country, which will be critical to the development of consensus regarding breast MRI."

To date, the Aurora System has been used by physicians in the Italian cities of Forlí, Padova, Verona, Bari and Genoa. Paramed said it plans to add more units to cover wider service areas.

"With a mobile Aurora unit, in just three weeks we were able to perform more than 60 breast MRI scans on women who are either extremely high risk or are suspicious of having breast cancer," said Massimo Calabrese, MD, radiologist at University Hospital San Martino (Genoa). "Having access to the Aurora system completely mitigated our previously long MRI waiting list."

He added, "Utilizing Aurora's biopsy targeting software, we have also successfully executed several MR-guided biopsies, providing much-needed critical information to aid in patient diagnosis." Calabrese said that follow-up patient surveys indicated that patients who previously had MRI scans on a different machine now preferred the comfort of the Aurora system."

Olivia Ho Cheng, president and CEO of Aurora, said, "Implementing this mobile strategy with Paramed has allowed us to rapidly extend Aurora's access to physicians and patients throughout Italy. These are patients who otherwise may have to suffer long waiting times, or wouldn't have access to this healthcare at all."

Noting Aurora's push to globalize its technology and services, she added that having a mobile system "is a manifestation of this commitment."

Cervical cell collector gets European OK

CytoCore (Chicago), whose focus is on the early detection and treatment of reproductive-tract cancers, said it has completed the process of demonstrating conformity of the e2 Collector cervical cell collection device to the requirements of the Medical Device Directive for sales into the European Union.

"We are pleased to have accomplished this significant objective. Demonstrating conformity to the essential requirements of the Medical Device Directive and, as a consequence, being able to affix the CE mark to the product is the major milestone for selling the Collector into the European Union," said CytoCore President Dick Domanik.

"In addition, the CE mark is becoming increasingly important for entry into other countries. We are in the process of formally registering the e2 Collector with the individual countries as designated by our distribution partners [and] are now ready to finalize certain initial distribution arrangements covering several European countries."

CytoCore develops cancer screening, therapeutic and delivery systems, which can be used in a laboratory or at the point of care to assist in the early detection of cervical, endometrial, and other cancers.

The company's InPath System is being developed to provide medical practitioners with accurate, cervical and uterine cancer screening systems that can be seamlessly integrated into existing medical models.

Viking adds Saudi distributor

Viking Systems (San Diego), a manufacturer of laparoscopic vision systems for use in minimally invasive surgical (MIS) procedures, said it has expanded its international distribution network by partnering with medical device distributor Saudi Services & HealthCare (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia).

The company's 3Di Vision System is used by surgeons for complex minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, with an initial focus on applications in urology, gynecology, bariatric and general surgery.

Viking said Saudi Services & HealthCare is a leader in providing niche surgical markets with advanced technologies. The company intends to use its expertise to help Saudi Arabian surgeons understand the impact 3-D vision will have on their surgical practices.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Region countries, with their well-equipped medical facilities both in the public and private sectors, always seek the latest and most advanced medical devices and systems," said General Manager Saad Abou Sakher. "Viking's 3Di Vision System with ergonomic and integrative information features is unique in its application for MIS procedures. We are looking forward to introducing Viking Systems by setting a prime location in Riyadh to be a reference for [other] regional medical facilities."

Stephen Heniges, senior VP for global marketing and clinical development at Viking, said, "Our relationship with Saudi Services & HealthCare is ideal, as they are known for providing premier solutions to the healthcare industry throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Region. Surgeons from these countries have expressed a strong interest in obtaining the benefits of 3-D visualization for complex MIS procedures offered by our system."

Viking also manufactures 2-D 2Di Digital Vision Systems for targeted configurations and channels, as well as 2-D cameras and components sold through strategic partners and OEM programs.