A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Royal Philips Electronics (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and Volcano (Rancho Cordova, California) reported compatibility between the Philips Allura Xper FD systems and Volcano’s s5i suite of integrated IVUS systems. This compatibility allows clinicians to connect the Volcano IVUS system with the Allura Xper FD when additional imaging is required to complement cardiovascular X-ray during cath lab procedures, the companies said. By cutting down the time it takes to set up these key cath lab systems, customers of both companies will optimize workflow and increase productivity.

Philips said it has acknowledged Volcano as a non-exclusive vendor of choice for new cath lab installations which specify integrated IVUS capabilities.

Volcano offers a suite of devices designed to facilitate endovascular procedures, enhance the diagnosis of vascular and structural heart diseases and guide optimal therapies.

Philips develops diagnostic imaging and monitoring systems for healthcare.

In other agreements:

Building on a radiology imaging partnership launched nine months ago, McKesson (San Francisco) reported expanding its distribution agreement with Toshiba America Medical Systems (Tustin, California), in which Toshiba will offer Horizon Cardiology Hemo, a component of McKesson’s Horizon Cardiology solution, as an option with Toshiba’s Infinix portfolio of vascular X-ray systems.

Rod O’Reilly, VP and general manager of McKesson’s Medical Imaging Group, said, “Our companies enjoy complementary products and a mutual vision to support broadscale adoption of affordable technologies that promote the highest-quality patient care. Cardiology is the next logical step in this progressive business relationship. McKesson and Toshiba expect to continue to introduce products to meet the demands of the market across all modalities.”

In July 2006, the two companies signed an agreement to offer McKesson’s Horizon Medical Imaging picture archiving and communication system solution with Toshiba’s diagnostic imaging devices, including the Aquilion line of CT scanners.

• Quidel (San Diego), a provider of point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tests, said it has entered into a supply agreement for its QuickVue immunochemical Fecal Occult Blood (iFOB) test with Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp; Burlington, North Carolina).

The QuickVue iFOB patient collection kits will be distributed to patients throughout LabCorp’s patient service centers and affiliated physician offices, and the QuickVue iFOB tests will be used at LabCorp’s 36 regional laboratories. The QuickVue iFOB test is used to detect the presence of blood in stool specimens, an indication of a number of gastrointestinal disorders.

Quidel’s products includes tests that aid in the diagnosis of several disease or condition states, including influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, Fecal Occult Blood, Strep A, pregnancy, bacterial vaginosis, infectious mononucleosis, H. pylori and Chlamydia.

LabCorp says it is the first in its industry to embrace genomic testing.

Siemens Medical Solutions Ultrasound Division (Mountain View, California) and U-Systems (San Jose, California) have formed an agreement for Siemens to distribute U-Systems’ SomoVu automated breast ultrasound system on a worldwide basis.

The automated system can be used as an adjunct to mammography, focusing on women with dense breast tissue. Studies have shown that mammography is less effective in such patients, the company said.

“Ultrasound is emerging as a critically important breast imaging complement to mammography for the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer, particularly for women with dense breast tissue,” said Joseph Pepper, president/CEO of U-Systems. ”The challenge with ultrasound has always been to produce standardized, repeatable images much like mammography has done. Our automated ultrasound solution joined with the sales and marketing expertise of Siemens Medical will allow us to achieve broader market awareness and to accelerate the dissemination of this leading edge technology into the fight against breast cancer.”

In a recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine, Canadian researchers reported that women with significantly dense breast tissue have a risk of breast cancer three to five times higher than women with fatty breast tissue. Furthermore, dense breast tissue makes the detection of cancer by mammography more difficult.

SomoVu is designed to provide automated ultrasound image acquisition of the breast. In combination with an integrated display system, it allows for comprehensive display and review of 3-D breast volumes.

“Automated ultrasound acquisition systems, such as the SomoVu breast scanner, mark the first steps to establish ultrasound as a cost-effective, breast imaging supplement without the use of ionizing radiation,” said Klaus Hambuechen, president of Siemens Medical Solutions Ultrasound Division.

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