CardioSoft (Houston) reported the completion of two clinical studies utilizing its new diagnostic cardiology tool, the HFQRS ECG, which measures and characterizes high frequency signals present in the QRS portion of the electrocardiogram, offering enhanced diagnostic information that supplements conventional ECG. The core technology initially was developed by researchers at the Johnson Space Center and is licensed from NASA by CardioSoft from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. In the first study, involving 45 patients undergoing nuclear medicine scanning for myocardial perfusion, the HFQRS ECG correctly predicted ischemia more than nine out of 10 times. Study results were presented at the recent annual meeting of the International Society of Computerized Electrocardiology. In the second study, the HFQRS ECG performed with similar accuracy when used to assess 60 patients for the presence of cardiomyopathy. Results of this study will be presented in June at the 12th Congress of the International Society for Holter and Noninvasive Electrocardiology in Gdansk, Poland. CardioSoft is focused on developing ECG products for improved diagnosis and management of heart disease.

GE Healthcare (Waukesha, Wisconsin) said that two studies presented at the American Roentgen Ray Society annual meeting in New Orleans indicate that patients with suspected meniscal tears or other injuries to their knees may be able to avoid arthroscopic surgery by having a 3-Tesla MRI examination instead. Researchers compared GE's 3T MR Excite system to arthroscopy and found that 3T MR Excite had an accuracy rate of 96% in detecting meniscal tears. The MRI examinations were able to identify 108 of the 112 meniscal tears that were found when arthroscopic surgery was performed, said Tom Magee, MD, of Neuroskeletal Imaging (Merritt Island, Florida), the lead author of the studies. There were three cases in which the MRI demonstrated a meniscal tear not seen on arthroscopy, Magee noted. 3-Tesla MRI can be performed using isotropic imaging so that the knee can be seen from all angles and planes then reconstructed three dimensionally as a "virtual arthroscopy."

R2 Technology (Sunnyvale, California) reported the launch of its ImageChecker CT Lung Version 2.0 computer aided detection (CAD) software system and AutoPoint temporal comparison feature for use during review of multi-slice CT chest exams. The second-generation software is designed to maximize physician accuracy and efficiency in finding actionable lung nodules early when treatment can be most effective and tracking nodule changes over time. The system also features expanded PACS integration for increased workflow efficiency. The ImageChecker CT Lung Version 2.0 CAD software system and AutoPoint temporal comparison tool will soon be made available as the only CT Lung CAD option integrated into the Vitrea workstation's CT Lung visualization package, developed by Vital Images (Minneapolis).

Royal Philips Electronics (Andover, Massachusetts) reported the launch of its new IntelliVue Telemetry System, featuring bidirectional communication between patient-worn transceivers and bedside monitors, and a central station with remote clinician access. The telemetry system uses cellular technology to ensure seamless information management and more flexible patient monitoring. The IntelliVue Telemetry System, which operates in the protected 1.4 GHz Wireless Medical Telemetry Service band, coexists with Philips digital telemetry systems, wireless bedside and transport monitors, and even a hospital's own WiFi systems. The IntelliVue Telemetry System features Smart-Hopping technology to avoid interference and seek out the strongest available signal for seamless data transmission as patients roam within the hospital. Philips also reported new updates to its IntelliVue Information Center and enhancements to Philips Telemetry System transmitters. The newest release of the IntelliVue Information Center supports flexible wired/wireless access and integration with existing Philips telemetry solutions. Lighter and small-er transmitters enhance the capabilities of the existing Philips Telemetry Systems, according to the company.

Sequenom (San Diego) said researchers reported findings that indicate the involvement of the intercellular adhesion molecule gene, ICAM1, in breast cancer metastasis. This is the first study to report that ICAM1 likely plays a major role in the invasion of cancerous cells and in the growth and metastasis of breast tumors, the company said. Published in the May 23 issue of Carcinogenesis, the study reports that these results corroborate Sequenom's previous finding that genetic variations in the ICAM gene region are associated with the occurrence of metastases and establish a causal role of ICAM1 in invasion of metastatic human breast cancer cell lines. The key findings demonstrated that the level of ICAM1 protein expression on the cell surface positively correlated with metastatic potential of several human breast cancer cell lines and that ICAM1 mRNA levels were elevated in breast tumor compared to normal tissue. The researchers also observed that ICAM1 down-regulation at the mRNA and protein level led to a strong suppression of human breast cell invasion.

SunTech Medical (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina), a maker of in motion-tolerant non-invasive blood pressure monitoring products and technology, reported the release of the next-generation Tango stress blood pressure monitor, the Tango+. The Tango+ features upgrades including a "Stat Mode" for frequent interval blood pressure measurement in situations requiring close monitoring, a timer to track when the last reading was taken, and a Graph View that allows the clinician to easily track blood pressure trends during a test. Tango+ begins shipment this month and will soon be available in four additional languages.

TriPath Imaging (Burlington, North Carolina) and Ventana Medical Systems (Tucson, Arizona) reported that TriPath Imaging has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for the Ventana Image Analysis System when used with tissues stained for Estrogen Receptor (ER) and Progesterone Receptor (PR). Ventana will globally market the Ventana-branded interactive histology image analysis system from TriPath Imaging. ER and PR analysis aids in the management of breast cancer patients.

Varian (Palo Alto, California) reported the availability of the OnTrak TesTcard 9, a rapid in vitro diagnostic device used in hospitals to determine if patients entering the emergency department could be under the influence of drugs. OnTrak TesTcard 9 provides a qualitative screen for the presence of amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, methamphetamines, morphine, phencyclidine, THC and tricyclic antidepressants in urine. TesTcard 9 is a single-step point-of-care test that requires no reagent mixing, timing, incubation or special handling. Results for all nine drugs are available in three to five minutes. Additionally, TesTcard 9 test results are stable for up to six hours.