• Bristol-Myers Squibb Medical Imaging (BMSMI; North Billerica, Massachusetts) reported that Premier Purchasing Partners, the group purchasing division of Premier (San Diego), has awarded it a three-year, sole-source contract for Definity (Vial for Perflutren Lipid Microsphere Injectable Suspension), an echo-cardiography contrast agent. BMSMI will offer Definity to Premier’s 1,500 hospital facilities and other affiliated sites throughout the U.S. The agreement continues through Dec. 31, 2007. In patients with suboptimal echocardiograms, Definity is designed to enable clearer visualization of the borders of the heart. Improving the visualization of the primary pumping chamber of the heart, Definity-enhanced echocardiography may improve the ability to evaluate left ventricular wall motion, according to BMSMI.

Automatic external defibrillator (AEDs) maker Cardiac Science (Irvine, California) and Baltimore County, Maryland, jointly reported that Cardiac Science had been named its exclusive marketing partner and provider of AEDs, AED/CPR training and AED program management for a countywide public access defibrillator (PAD) program launched by the county. Cardiac Science said that Baltimore County is the latest municipality to partner with it to implement a PAD program, joining other communities including San Diego, Minneapolis, Miami and St. Louis. Baltimore County Project Heartbeat PAD program, approved by Baltimore County and coordinated by the Baltimore County Fire Department, is designed to make the technology offered by AEDs available in public facilities and businesses throughout the 610-square-mile county of 755,000 people. The company, together with the fire department, will launch a program to educate the public and representatives from local businesses about the need for AEDs and how to use them.

• CardioDynamics (San Diego), which focuses on impedance cardiography (ICG) technology, said that Vermed, its wholly owned subsidiary and the fourth-largest supplier of disposable electrodes and related supplies utilized in ECG and other diagnostic procedures in the U.S., has entered into a three-year, multi-source contract with Premier Purchasing Partners. Vermed was one of three vendors awarded the multi-source contract that begins July 1 to offer Premier’s members ECG electrodes, lead wires and cables. CardioDynamics estimates the total annual national sales volume for this award to be about $25 million.

• Siemens Medical Solutions (Malvern, Pennsylvania) said that it has been awarded three-year contracts with HealthTrust Purchasing Group (HPG; Brentwood, Tennessee) to provide its network of 1,500 participating hospitals and healthcare systems access to Siemens MRI and ultrasound technologies, through March 31, 2008. HPG members can select from Siemens’ portfolio of MRI systems, including the Magnetom Avanto, Symphony, Trio and Espree, all available with total imaging matrix technology, and its advanced ultrasound technologies. HPG said that this is the first time it has offered Siemens’ MRI systems to its membership.