Medical Device Daily Associate

Cardinal Health (Dublin, Ohio), a provider of products and services supporting healthcare, reported plans to acquire Care Fusion (McLean, Virginia), a maker of wireless, barcode-enabled patient identification systems used in hospitals. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

“We see the opportunity really to enhance our portfolio in terms of our patient safety and medication management solutions,” Troy Kirkpatrick, Cardinal spokesman, told Medical Device Daily. “With Care Fusion we can now track and verify right to the bedside — that was a bit of gap that we had.”

With Care Fusion’s bedside technology, clinicians can scan a barcode on a patient’s wristband to verify they have the correct person for medication and blood administration, lab testing or other supplies and procedures. The scanner receives and transmits data wirelessly to a Care Fusion computer system integrated into the hospital’s network so that the electronic medical record system has up-to-date physician orders, patient information and care status.

Cardinal said the acquisition will expand its patient safety and medication management approach that helps hospitals track and verify all medications — oral, intravenous (IV) and injectable — from the loading dock to the point they are administered.

“Care Fusion’s patient identification technology provides a last line of defense against medical errors at the most critical point — the patient,” said John Milligan, co-founder, president and chief operating officer of Care Fusion. “Cardinal Health’s leadership in medication management, combined with Care Fusion’s expertise in bedside verification creates a powerful combination to reassure clinicians are giving the right dose of the right medication to the right patient at the right time.”

Kirkpatrick said that Care Fusion products are used in about 50 hospitals in 20 states. He said that earlier this year the company also entered an agreement with the Veterans Health Administration to use Care Fusion hand-held devices at all its inpatient and outpatient facilities system-wide, including 171 medical centers and 500 outpatient clinics, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

Thermo Electron (Waltham, Massachusetts) and Fisher Scientific International (Hampton, New Hampshire) reported that the Federal Trade Commission has approved a consent order requiring the divestiture of Fisher’s Genevac (Valley Cottage, New York) business — a $17 million product line — and granted early termination of the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period for the pending $10.6 billion merger of Thermo and Fisher first disclosed in May (MDD, May 9, 2006).

No further regulatory review is necessary in the U.S. for the merger, they said.

The companies also reported that, following discussions with the European Commission regarding the merger, they have offered to divest the same Genevac business. As a result, the initial deadline for the EC to rule on the merger has been extended to Nov. 9. The companies anticipate that this proposal will resolve any issues raised by the EC and, with clearance, they will complete the merger Nov. 9.

Thermo Electron makes analytical instruments. Fisher Scientific is a provider of products and services to the scientific community.

In other dealmaking news:

• CIVA (The Company for Information Visualization and Analysis; Santa Fe, New Mexico) said it will license Los Alamos National Laboratory ’s (Los Alamos, New Mexico) epidemiological modeling and simulation system, called EpiCast. The cost of the licensing was not disclosed.

Developed by Los Alamos scientists, EpiCast assists epidemiologists in understanding the spread of an Avian Influenza (H5N1) pandemic via modeling at the individual human level using current data on the spread of pathogens in human populations. A computer simulation models a synthetic population that matches available demographics and worker mobility by randomly assigning the simulated individuals to households, workplaces, schools and the like. Travel data is used to model long-distance trips during the course of the simulation, capturing the spread of the virus by airplane and other passenger travel.

Additionally, the model of disease transmission involves probabilities that any two people in a population will meet on any given day in any one of a number of settings, such as home or workplace.

With the licensing, CIVA said it will be able to run flu-impact models for government, public and private organizations as early as this month, using a service-centric business model — meaning CIVA will provide customers with modeling results derived from the software, not the software itself. While for-profit enterprises will be charged a fee for this service, the cost to subsidize non-profit organizations and agencies will come from non-profit and government grants, it said.

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