A Medical Device Daily

HIMSS Analytics (Chicago) reported plans to extend products and service offerings to the Canadian healthcare IT market.

The not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS; Chicago) is known for its research and data collection efforts on hospitals and health systems throughout the U.S.

The organization said newly formed strategic partnerships with two key Canadian organizations, Branham Group (Ottawa) and Courtyard Group, will ensure the success of the new initiatives in Canada.

HIMSS Analytics said it will collect IT-related information for Canadian hospitals similar to what has been collected from U.S. hospitals and now populates the HIMSS Analytics Database (derived from the Dorenfest IHDS+ Database).

Technology adoption in Canadian healthcare organizations will be tracked by collecting information on hospital demographics, utilization and deployment of IT products and services, and buying trends in software and hardware applications. This data also will be used to compare Canadian hospitals amongst themselves, and to compare them to U.S. hospitals.

Dave Garets, president/CEO of HIMSS Analytics, said, "To ensure the success of this initiative, we're looking to Courtyard Group, which is well-respected among Canadian healthcare providers, to provide strategic advice and insight into the Canadian Healthcare marketplace to ensure meaningful results, and Branham Group, author of the most comprehensive report on the Canadian eHealth market, to enhance their suite of information products on the Canadian eHealth market and to drive our sales and marketing efforts with vendors targeting the Canadian eHealth marketplace."

"Canadian healthcare providers increasingly want to compare and conduct analysis of best practices with both Canadian and U.S. colleagues," said David Wattling, managing partner of the Courtyard Group and founder of CHITTA, Canada's healthcare IT trade association.

Kodak gets Canadian nod for CR system

Eastman Kodak (Rochester, New York) said it has obtained Health Canada approval for its computed radiography (CR) system for mammography and will immediately begin selling the system in that country.

The Kodak Directview CR Mammography Feature enables mammography images to be captured digitally while using a health provider's existing mammography X-ray unit. The optional feature is available when purchasing a high-productivity Directview CR 850 or CR 975 system or as a retrofit to currently installed CR 850/950/975 systems.

Dina Vazzana, general manager, mammography solutions, for Kodak's Health Group, said, "Computed radiography enables medical facilities to benefit from the latest digital technology in a cost-effective manner that complements their existing departmental workflow structure."

The company's CR for mammography feature has been selling in Europe, Asia, Japan and Latin America for more than 18 months. Kodak has installed hundreds of systems with the feature in facilities such as clinics, breast imaging centers and hospitals.

Kodak recently entered into an agreement to sell its Health Group to a subsidiary of Onex (Toronto). With consolidated revenues of almost $20 billion, Onex, which owns companies in a range of industries, has a growing group of healthcare companies.

It is anticipated that the sale will close in the first half of this year, at which time the Health Group will become a stand-alone company that will operate brand-named Carestream Health.

Spine firm adds Chinese presence

LDR (Austin, Texas) reported the creation of a Chinese subsidiary, LDR China, in order to further its global presence and to capitalize on the growing Asian market for innovative spinal solutions.

The company said the new offices in Beijing reinforce its "longstanding commitment" to serve as a global spine company.

LDR now has offices in North America, Europe and Asia and is selling its products around the world. It said would continue to establish corporate offices in geographic areas that it deems "strategically important in supporting continued global growth."

Christophe Lavigne, president and CEO of LDR Holdings, said, "The Asian market is an important and growing area for medical device companies. China is emerging as a strategically strong position in healthcare consumption and we see it as being especially critical for the spinal industry. We . . . look forward to a long-term relationship with Chinese surgeons and their patients."

LDR sells its fusion and non-fusion products for spine surgeons in some 26 countries.

Biomoda, Cureline eye licensing deal

Biomoda (Albuquerque, New Mexico), a maker of early lung cancer detection testing and other cancer diagnostic technology, reported negotiations with Cureline (San Francisco), a biomedical sample management company, to license Biomoda's diagnostic technology for sale in Russia, Eastern Europe and Asia.

Cureline, founded in 2003 by scientists and business development experts as a custom tissue-procurement organization, is primarily involved in pre-clinical and clinical research management services, with an emphasis on medical samples acquisition, biomarkers discovery and co-development of diagnostic tests in oncology.

"Biomoda is in the process of further aligning itself with this dynamic partner to open up an important market for [our] patented diagnostic technology," said John Cousins, president of Biomoda.

"Cureline is very interested in developing a clinical laboratory business in Russia, Eastern Europe and Asia, where we already have been conducting business for the past three years," said Olga Potapova, PhD, that company's president and scientific director.

The Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.) and Biomoda are jointly conducting a broad validation study of the company's technology, a non-invasive, cytology-based lung cancer diagnostic assay.

The technology is based on a patented porphyrin application that preferentially binds to cancerous or aberrant cells extracted from lung sputum samples. Cancerous cells glow red under fluorescent light to allow detection under a microscope. The technology is designed for cancer screening of large populations at an early stage.

The five-year survival rate for lung cancer cases detected when the disease is still localized is 50%. At present, only 16% of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at this early stage, Biomoda said.