A Medical Device Daily

Sonora Medical Systems (Longmont, Colorado), a subsidiary of Misonix (Farmingdale, New York), has entered a development agreement with Medical Diagnostic Technologies (MDT; Las Vegas) to bring to market a test device designed to troubleshoot diagnostic ultrasound systems. The companies will collaborate on a product to be marketed as FirstAssist, expected to be available in the U.S. this summer, they said. Sonora supplies after-market products, services and test equipment to the medical imaging market. MDT develops computer-aided detection products.

The companies will jointly develop a product to test all imaging and Doppler modalities of an ultrasound system and analyze signals displayed on the ultrasound monitor for various operational characteristics claimed by original equipment manufacturers in their published specifications. FirstAssist will connect to ultrasound systems in the same receptacle in which probes are normally inserted and will have the capability of interfacing with laptop computers, enabling more user-friendly maintenance and accurate in-service system testing.

FirstAssist will serve as complementary product to Sonora's ultrasound probe-testing device FirstCall, used by more than 100 major hospitals nationwide, according to the company.

FirstCall tests probes independently of the ultrasound system, while FirstAssist will test the ultrasound system independently of the probe. The FirstAssist device supports intuitive processing as it will connect and test the ultrasound system as if the probe that delivers ultrasonic energy were actually connected and in service.

G. Wayne Moore, president/CEO of Sonora, said, "This new product will obviate the need for hospitals to rely upon the ultrasound OEM for after warranty service contracts, thereby providing a substantial cost savings annually for hospitals and clinics. The combination of Sonora's hardware design and the sophisticated image processing algorithms developed by MDT will set a new standard in ultrasound quality control and really empower hospital biomedical engineers to troubleshoot and repair even the most technologically intense ultrasound system."

James Benson of MDT, said, "Having created CAD for the early detection of prostate cancer as well as other important clinical applications, it was a natural extension to direct our technology into the rapidly growing area of ultrasound quality control and service."

In other agreements:

• Greenway Medical Technologies (Carrollton, Georgia), a provider of integrated ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) and practice management systems, reported a partnership with IQMax (Charlotte, North Carolina) to deliver the PrimeMobile solution, designed to allow healthcare professionals to use handheld mobile devices to facilitate their workflow when they are out of the office. PrimeMobile is an extension of Greenway's PrimeSuite, a fully integrated EHR solution that integrates a practice's clinical, financial and administrative processes. IQMax provides mobile healthcare solutions.

One of the challenges physicians face is facilitating work while they are out of the office and on the go, Greenway said.

According to the company, PrimeMobile puts the power of mobile solutions in physicians' hands so they can efficiently and effectively treat their patients, regardless of their locations. PrimeMobile provides anytime, anywhere access to care providers' schedules, their patients' information, clinical reference tools and workflow enhancing applications like charge capture and dictation. These features facilitate quality care for patients during hospital rounds and other activities.

Greenway's PrimeMobile, powered by IQMax, is set to launch this summer with the intent to provide a fast, accurate and intuitive mobile solution, based on IQMax's mobile technology, allowing healthcare providers to extend their use of PrimeSuite system data beyond the ambulatory setting.

Greenway provides ambulatory healthcare business solutions by enhancing the delivery of patient care through software and services intended to allow physician practices to function at their highest level of efficiency.

IQMax is a provider in the mobile healthcare market serving many of the nation's leading acute and ambulatory facilities.

• Instem (Conshohocken, Pennsylvania), a global information solutions provider, reported that Perceptive Instruments (Suffolk, UK) has selected it to distribute and support the Instem Comet Assay IV solution in North America.

The Comet Assay IV is an interactive live video-based system for scoring cells without complicated parameters to adjust or hardware to install. Users simply connect a camera, self-install the software and they can begin scoring. The unique algorithms used in Comet Assay IV provide investigators with the highest levels of reproducible results with minimal user intervention.

"The comet assay is playing an increasingly important role in the drug development process, and having Instem as our partner increases our reach and ability to enhance DNA damage and repair study efforts around the globe," said Paul Pover, director at Perceptive Instruments.

The comet assay is used in many fields of activity including genetic toxicology, biomonitoring, ecotoxicology, medical and nutritional research. Comet Assay IV is used at sites throughout the U.S., with sales tripling in the first two months of 2007, as compared to 2006, Instem said.

Perceptive develops image analysis and data processing solutions for scientific research and industry.