A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Novadaq Technologies (Toronto) reported receiving a patent in Japan for its SPY Intra-operative Imaging System, enabling the visualization of the flow of blood through grafts during bypass procedures.

The Japanese patent, No. 3881550, assigned to the National Research Council of Canada (NRC; Ottawa) and exclusively licensed to Novadaq, is titled “Method and Apparatus for Performing Intra-operative Angiography.”

Novadaq said the patent protection for the core imaging technology in Japan represents “a major commercial breakthrough” for the company, reinforcing its global strategy to build a strong portfolio of protection for its existing products and those emerging from its pipeline. It said it “further strengthens Novadaq’s position as the imaging company of the operating room.”

Dr. Ian Smith, director general of the Institute for Biodiagnostics at National Research Council Canada, said, “We at NRC are delighted to see our technology spreading around the world to ensure the functionality of cardiac bypasses. Our partnership with Novadaq is a source of great pride to us.”

Novadaq’s focus is development of imaging devices for use in the operating room. Its proprietary platform can be used to visualize blood vessels, nerves and the lymphatic system during surgical procedures.

The SPY Intra-operative Imaging System, available worldwide, enables cardiac surgeons to visually assess coronary vasculature and bypass graft functionality during open-heart surgery.

Novadaq’s OPTTX System, which received CE-marking last November, is aimed at the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration by using the same core imaging technology that is used in the SPY System.

The company’s HELIOS System, which received FDA clearance in January, is the first fluorescent imaging system available for use during plastic reconstructive surgery, the company said, allowing surgeons to evaluate pre- and intra-operative blood flow, as well as post-surgery perfusion.

Novadaq’s LUNA system is designed to enable surgeons to visualize nerve bundles during the course of urological and neurological procedures. LUNA has been granted a license for use by Health Canada.

CellSearch system launched in Hong Kong

The CellSearch System, an advanced prognostic platform for analyzing circulating tumor cells (CTC) in metastatic breast cancer patients, has been launched for commercial application in Hong Kong.

The system is provided by Bridgetech Hong Kong Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgetech Holdings International (San Diego), which is involved in the transfer of Western medical technology to China, with an initial focus on oncology.

Bridgetech has installed two sets of the CellSearch System in Hong Kong, at the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the former is now available for use by metastatic breast cancer patients. Requiring as little as 7.5 ml of a patient’s blood, the system can perform the capture, identification and classification of CTCs in an automatic, standardized and scientific manner.

The company said CTC tracking and analysis provide valuable prognostic information for predicting progression-free survival and overall survival of metastatic breast cancer patients.

Neil Senzer, MD, scientific director of Mary Crowley Medical Research Clinics, located within the Baylor University Medical Center (Dallas), visited Hong Kong in mid-February to introduce the CellSearch System to local oncologists.

“The new technology has been well received by local oncologists and representatives of breast cancer patient groups,” said Carrie Yuen, president, Asia at Bridgetech Holding.

Cedara to unveil C4 platform in Vienna

Cedara Software (Toronto), a business of Merge Healthcare (Milwaukee) that develops medical software technologies for global healthcare markets, said it plans to introduce its C4 Integration platform and a number of new medical imaging technologies at the 2007 ECR Conference in Vienna, Austria, March 9-13.

The company said that with the increasing prevalence of multiple picture archiving and communications systems (PACS), clinical applications and information systems used at a single healthcare institution, “the need for integration has never been greater.”

At the meeting, Cedara will showcase various new technologies for OEM/VARs designed to further unite image and information management in healthcare practice. It said its solutions provide a fast, efficient and cost-effective means to introduce new technology to the marketplace.

Key to Cedara’s approach to image and information management is the new C4 (Cedara Clinical Control Center) integration platform, middleware that allows clinical applications and plug-ins to be integrated into a single workstation. C4 permits clinical plug-ins to be launched manually or automatically based on user preferences.

Used to quickly integrate clinical applications into any information system, it will be demonstrated at ECR with Cedara’s web-enabled PACS system, Cedara I- Reach; a diagnostic information system, Cedara aXigate; and in a stand-alone capacity.

Clinical functionality initially set to be available through C4 includes support for breast imaging, PET/CT imaging and orthopedic planning. Those capabilities are supported by Cedara’s clinical applications Cedara I- ReadMammo, Cedara PET/CT Workstation and Cedara OrthoWorks ProPlanner.

The company says that future additional clinical applications will be available through C4, such as virtual colonoscopy, calcium scoring, oncology therapy response, lung nodule analysis and other third-party solutions.

Loris Sartor, president of Cedara, cited C4’s “value proposition,” limitless clinical functionality available through a single integration effort. “This allows vendors to service a wider selection of their customers’ needs. I think that a variety of PACS, RIS and EMR companies will be very interested in this solution,” he said.

Cedara also will showcase other solutions, including a new Merge Box that brings PACS connectivity to non-DICOM modalities, image enhancement software for modality manufacturers, a rapid application development platform, segmentation technologies, DICOM/HL7 toolkits, ultrasound cardiovascular screening tools and a wide selection of advanced diagnostic tools.

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