Cardiac Science (Bothell, Washington) has signed an amendment to its agreement with GE Healthcare (Little Chalfont, UK) which extends the agreement's term to five years from the original three years. GE Healthcare, a division of General Electric, will sell Cardiac Science's "crash cart" defibrillator/monitor to hospitals in the U.S. and Canada under Cardiac Science's Powerheart brand, and to customers outside North America under the GE Responder brand. GE and Cardiac Science said they have partnered to refine the product specifications and features to ensure successful launch. Arrangements were also made to support GE's worldwide service model. Product shipments are being made under a pilot program. The defibrillator/monitor is a rugged portable device with resuscitation and pacing therapies for use by professionals. The pilot program tests worldwide launch by shipping finished devices to customers as well as service kits to GE service centers. Full shipments will begin upon the completion of the pilot program.

Wyndgate Technologies (Denver) reported that Hospital Partners of America (HPA; Charlotte, North Carolina) is implementing Wyndgate's SafeTrace Tx transfusion management system at St. Joseph's Medical Center (Houston), the second HPA facility to implement the system. HPA first licensed the SafeTrace Tx system for its Twelve Oaks Medical Center (Houston). When St. Joseph's learned that it would need to purchase a new blood bank system because its existing system was being discontinued, HPA licensed SafeTrace Tx based on the success of the system at Twleve Oaks, Wyndgate said.

Clinical Data (CLDA; Newton, Massachusetts) and Quintiles Transnational (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) reported an alliance to offer Quintiles' customers CLDA's services related to the evaluation of drug-induced QT prolongation. The QT interval is a part of the normal heartbeat which can be prolonged as a side effect of some drugs. People with prolonged QT intervals are susceptible to abnormal heart rhythms, Janine McCargo, a spokeswoman for Clinical Data, told Cardiovascular Device Update. The pharmacogenomics analyses are performed in the laboratories of Clinical Data's service division, Cogenics (New Haven, Connecticut). As part of the alliance, the two companies may also collaborate on the study of drug-induced QT prolongation for potential development of new products or services. Quintiles provides services for drug development, information, financial partnering and commercialization for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. CLDA provides molecular and pharmacogenomics services as well as genetic tests and is organized into three worldwide divisions: PGxHealth, Cogenics and Vital Diagnostics. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Cerner (Kansas City, Missouri) and Mortara Instrument (Milwaukee), a non-invasive cardiology technology company, said they will pursue a joint engineering effort utilizing DICOM to provide full diagnostic capabilities within an electronic medical record (EMR). The companies said that the use of the DICOM ECG standard allows the EMR to receive and present raw ECG data seconds after it has been acquired. Combining the diagnostic ECG with the EMR now opens the door for more advances in ECG, as greater EMR data can be properly utilized, they said. The agreement enables Cerner to provide the E-Scribe ECG functionality within the Millennium platform as part of PowerChart ECG to improve ECG workflow in other Cerner solutions, including PowerChart EMR, iNet for the ICU, FirstNet for the emergency room and CVNet for cardiology. The DICOM standard allows for movement, reporting and viewing of data from this ubiquitous diagnostic regardless of which ECG manufacturer's equipment is used to acquire the data. Mortara develops non-invasive cardiology for innovations that are core to the company's line of ECG products, including electrocardiographs, stress exercise systems, Holter systems, data warehousing, and cardiology monitoring systems.

• The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC; Charleston, South Carolina) and Siemens Medical Solutions (Concord, California) have entered into a five-year, $40-million strategic alliance that will bring leading diagnostic technologies to MUSC's departments of cardiology and radiology. The agreement will include introducing the latest technology in MUSC's Heart & Vascular Center, which brings together advanced cardiology and interventional radiology services in the same facility. MUSC will have access to Siemens systems for angiography, digital radiography, CT, MRI and PET. MUSC and Siemens also will collaborate on R&D activities. Siemens will also work to improve workflow to advance MUSC's emphasis on advance patient care. An example of Siemens technology being utilized at MUSC is the recently installed Somatom Definition dual-source CT system, which incorporates two X-ray sources and two detectors in a single scanner. Through this alliance, imaging equipment will share the Siemens syngo operating platform, which has a standard user interface and enables operational and workflow improvements such as faster training of physicians and staff.