4-D imaging key to OB/GYN growth

Millennium Research Group (MRG; Waltham, Massachusetts) has conducted an analysis of the $2.6 billion global ultrasound market and reported that the largest contributor to growth in the obstetrics and gynecology segment of the market is the adoption of 4-D imaging systems.

"The surge in demand has unintentionally spawned a gray market in fetal videos that have no pressing medical purpose," said David Plow, senior analyst at MRG. "Gray market prenatal ultrasounds have been subject to resounding condemnation by the [FDA] because it views this as an unapproved use of a medical device."

OB/GYN constitutes about 20% of the global ultrasound market, MRG said, a market that is expected to increase by $700 million to more than $3 billion by 2011.

MRG provides technology market intelligence and strategic information to the health care sector.

Perceptronix opens 1st sputum induction facility

Perceptronix Medical (Vancouver, Canada) said it has opened its first sputum induction facility at MDS Metro Laboratory Services' Victoria Drive Patient Service Centre in Vancouver. The facility will be the first centre to offer sputum induction for Perceptronix's ClearSign Sputum Test.

ClearSign is a simple, non-invasive, early detection test for lung cancer. The test recently received Health Canada approval and is the first lung cancer test to be approved in North America. ClearSign is performed on sputum — the material brought up from the lungs after a deep cough — collected using an induction procedure where coughing is induced by breathing salt water vapour. Sputum samples are analyzed by Perceptronix to yield a ClearSign score that indicates the likelihood that an individual has lung cancer, similar to other cancer detection tests such as the Pap test for cervical cancer or the PSA test for prostate cancer.

Lung cancer is a prevalent form of cancer in both men and women and results in the greatest number of cancer-related deaths worldwide, according to Perceptronix. In 2002, 1.35 million people were diagnosed with lung cancer and about 1.2 million people, or 18% of the world's cancer deaths, were as a result of lung cancer.

Perceptronix is a private, cancer diagnostics company.