Mazor Surgical Technologies (Atlanta/Caesarea, Israel) said those treated with its SpineAssist miniature robotic surgical guidance system experience up to a 98% decrease in X-ray exposure compared to those using conventional minimally invasive techniques. The study also demonstrated that the SpineAssist's surgical guidance enhanced implant placement precision 2.5 times over freehand placement. The study used minimally invasive and conventional techniques to place a total of 217 screws for spinal pedicular fixation in lumbar and thoracic fusion procedures. One group of surgeons worked with the guidance of the SpineAssist system, while another group performed the same procedures freehand. Radiation exposure dosimeters indicated that surgeons operating conventionally were exposed to radiation levels an average of 51 times greater than the surgeons using SpineAssist. At the same time, with SpineAssist's guidance, placements deviated by an average of only 1.1 mm from surgical plan site. Placements made using freehand techniques deviated an average of 2.8 mm. which is 2.5 times higher than with SpineAssist's guidance, according to the company. SpineAssist consists of a miniature robot, a patented Hover-T Bridge, which allows the robot to glide freely above the patient's spine, and a workstation running advanced surgical planning software.

NeoVista (Fremont, California) said that data presented at the Vail Vitrectomy 2007 Meeting in Vail, Colorado, highlighted the potential benefit of treating wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) with the company's Epi-Rad 90 Ophthalmic System. Six-month clinical data was presented from the company-sponsored Concomitant Study, which utilized intravitreal 24 Gy Strontium-90 beta radiation, plus initial treatment with the anti-VEGF agent, Avastin. The study was conducted in ophthalmic centers in Mexico and Brazil. At six months, 45% of the patients treated per protocol achieved ¡3 lines of visual acuity gain. This compares favorably to the results obtained in the MARINA Trial, which utilized 0.5 mg of Lucentis alone. In addition, all patients treated in this study achieved a mean change in visual acuity of 13.4 letters at 6 months, which compares favorably to the reported 6.5 letter gain at month six of the MARINA Trial.

Onset Medical (Irvine, California) reported FDA clearance for the company's SoloPath transseptal access catheter. SoloPath uses Onset's Controlled Deployment Technology to allow percutaneous access to the chambers of the left heart and surrounding vasculature. CDT allows introduction of a dimensionally small catheter to a specific site, which once positioned, can be radially expanded to deploy a semi-rigid sheath to maintain access to the treatment site. The catheter enters the body at a diameter about 50% of the size of conventional access devices, the company said. Once placed in the body, the device is expanded in a slow and gentle manner, using radial force to create an internal diameter larger than conventional devices. Studies have shown that the CDT can allow the physician to achieve access quicker, easier and with less trauma to the surrounding tissue than with conventional access procedures.

Possis Medical (Minneapolis) reported market release of its new AngioJet ultra thrombectomy system, FDA-approved in December. The system is the latest version of the ultra thrombectomy system that has been used in more than 300,000 patients worldwide for thrombectomy in arterial and venous blood vessels. The new micro-processor-based ultra system reduces setup time, improves mobility and provides a self-prompting, much simpler control interface, according to the company. Possis makes devices used in endovascular procedures.