• Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (Vancouver) said that it has received FDA clearance to begin marketing a new polymer line of absorbable sutures, further broadening the offering of the Quill self-retaining system (SRS) product line. Angiotech is launching Monoderm, a new line of Quill SRS sutures made from a rapidly resorbing polymer, which is intended primarily for superficial wound closure applications. The sutures will be available in three different diameters. A patented helical barbed design enables surgeons to suture without the use of knots. The absence of knots provides a wide range of clinical and economic benefits, including: potential to improve patient outcomes, potential to save time in the operating room, and enhanced procedural techniques. Angiotech is a specialty pharmaceutical and medical device company.

Study results recently published in the Journal of Academic Radiology indicate that breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI) provides higher sensitivity for the detection of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) than mammography or MRI and can reliably detect small, sub-centimeter lesions. The study evaluated the technology on women with mammographically suspicious microcalicifications and other high risk factors. BSGI was performed with the Dilon Technologies’ (Newport News, Virginia]) Dilon 6800, a molecular breast imaging technique that can see lesions independent of tissue density and discover very early stage cancers. BSGI serves as a complementary diagnostic adjunct procedure to mammography and ultrasound for difficult-to-diagnose patients. With BSGI, the patient receives a radioactive tracing agent that is absorbed by all the cells in the body. Cancerous cells in the breast, due to their increased rate of metabolic activity, absorb a greater amount of the tracing agent than normal, healthy cells and generally appear as “hot spots” on the BSGI image. BSGI is ideal for patients with mammograms that are difficult to interpret due to a variety of factors, such as: dense breast tissue, suspicious areas on a mammogram, lumps that can be felt but not seen with mammography or ultrasound, implants and breast augmentation, scarring from previous surgeries and for women with a strong positive family history of breast cancer. Dilon Technologies makes medical imaging products.

• TeleTracking Technologies (Pittsburgh) will automate patient flow at New York City’s Montefiore Medical Center as part of an initiative to accommodate expected patient increases when several surrounding health facilities close. The 1,122-bed health system will adopt a suite of TeleTracking solutions designed to manage existing bed capacity more efficiently and avert hospital overcrowding. Already among the nation’s busiest emergency care providers, Montefiore annually serves more than 65,000 inpatients and nearly two million outpatients in the Bronx and Westchester County. TeleTracking is a healthcare software firm which provides software and process redesign services that create prompts, feedback and data flow to make real-time capacity management possible.