A Diagnostics & Imaging Week
R2 Technology (Sunnyvale, California), which focuses on computer-aided detection (CAD) for the earlier detection of breast cancer and other medical conditions, has entered into a collaboration with Sectra (Linkoping, Sweden) to provide R2's ImageChecker D digital mammography CAD results on Sectra's "multi-modality, vendor-neutral, universal mammography workstation," the company said.
As part of the agreement, R2 will distribute the Sectra universal mammography workstation and other PACS components in the U.S. and Canada.
Using R2's DigitalNow film digitizing system, mammography centers can archive their film-screen images and R2 CAD marks to the Sectra breast imaging picture archiving and communication system, thus facilitating comparison of prior film-based images with the current digital mammography image.
Five independent prospective clinical studies from academic and community practices showed that the use of R2's CAD resulted in 6.6% to 19.5% more cancers detected.
Clalit HMO adopts Mindstreams
Aiming to attain efficient and uniform care throughout the healthcare system, Clalit Health Services (Tel Aviv, Israel) reported that it has adopted the NeuroTrax (New Brunswick, New Jersey) Mindstreams product line, a PC-based system of cognitive function tests, as its standard cognitive assessment tool for patient care.
"One of our most difficult challenges is consistency, especially for the growing older adult population," said Clalit's executive director of medical services, Nicky Lieberman. "We rely upon NeuroTrax to provide objective and standardized cognitive measurement upon which to base care throughout our geriatric care system."
She particularly cited the "practical nature" of the Mindstreams product and "the high scientific standards of NeuroTrax."
Clalit, the largest managed care organization in Israel, insures 3.8 million of the country's 6 million residents, including 80% of the country's seniors and the majority of Israel's poorest, so economics is an issue. The HMO operates 14 hospitals and 1,250 outpatient clinics, employing 9,000 physicians and more than twice that number of affiliated healthcare workers.
"The NeuroTrax system provides user-friendly, technologically-advanced solutions ideally suited to large organizations, such as Clalit, that depend upon reliable outcome measurements," said NeuroTrax CEO Ely Simon, a neurologist and biomedical engineer, who created Mindstreams. "By providing medical practitioners with accurate, sensitive and reproducible office-based measurements of cognitive function, increasingly critical for neurological and psychiatric disease management, we can significantly improve patient care."
The agreement between the organizations follows a trial deployment of Mindstreams by Clalit that began in October 2004 for early detection of dementia and to track changes in cognitive function. Other assessment applications in the process of integration by Clalit include evaluation of rehabilitation outcomes, mental health and of learning disorders.
"Mindstreams is used to help diagnose ADHD, primarily by providing a profile of cognitive ability that could support the diagnosis and later be used to gauge treatment response," Simon told Diagnostics & Imaging Week.
Boots gets chlamydia-screening contract
A contract to provide chlamydia screening in pharmacies across London has been awarded to the UK pharmacy firm Boots the Chemists. Boots will be providing the free and confidential service in all its London pharmacies beginning in November as part of a Department of Health initiative to make it easier for 16- to 24-year-olds to be screened and tested for chlamydia.
Public Health Minister Caroline Flint said, "With its hundreds of stores in prime locations across the capital, Boots is ideally placed to provide the chlamydia screening and treatment for our two-year pilot program."
She noted that chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK, "and it's important [that] we make screening and treatment services accessible – especially for young men and women under 25. By making this free service available in pharmacies, it will make it easier for people to call in for a screening test – helping to speed up both the detection and treatment of chlamydia cases."
The pilot program will be monitored and evaluated by the Department of Health over a two-year period to test the community pharmacy setting as an alternative access point for chlamydia screening. If successful, the program could be rolled out nationally, the department said. The screening and treatment service also will be available to all partners of those who test positive, regardless of their age.
Boots said it expects to provide about 50,000 screens a year – with test kits available over the counter, testing and analysis carried out by U.S.-headquartered diagnostic services firm Quest Diagnostics and treatment consultations taking place in private areas.
Pradip Patel, Boots pharmacy superintendent, said, "Boots is uniquely placed to offer this service in London, as we have 201 pharmacies taking part, which offers a wide geographical coverage of locations."
Chlamydia testing and screening is currently available in 26 areas of England under the National Chlamydia Screening Program and is offered in a variety of healthcare and non-healthcare settings, including educational institutions, armed forces bases and prisons.