• HomeFree(Milwaukee), a provider of wireless monitoring solutions for the senior housing and elderly care markets, said that its wireless monitoring technology has received U.S. patent No. 6853304 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent is for an electronic monitoring device that combines movement, activity and physiological reading in a single, wrist-worn watch.

• Norwood EyeCare (Duluth, Georgia), a subsidiary of Norwood Abbey, reported results of three clinical studies on its Epikeratome for Epi-LASIK at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting in Washington. The study results – including the evaluation of visual acuity results, pain, haze and corneal sensitivity – suggest that Epi-LASIK with the Norwood EyeCare Epikeratome is a safe and effective modality for the treatment of low and moderate myopia, based on a one-year follow up. One study compared patients who underwent Epi-LASIK and LASIK on corneal sensitivity. The study found that corneal sensitivity in Epi-LASIK patients was only slightly decreased during the first month and was fully recovered by the third postoperative month, while after LASIK it still was decreased as late as the sixth postoperative month.

• Synthetic Blood International (Costa Mesa, California) reported that it has enrolled its first two patients in its 60-patient Phase II Oxycyte trial to prevent tissue hypoxia in hip revision surgery. The company also reported that two hospitals in Durham, North Carolina, have received investigational review board approval and will be open for patient enrollment for the trial later this month. Oxycyte is the company’s perfluorocarbon blood substitute and therapeutic oxygen carrier. In this trial, Oxycyte is being administered to hip revision surgery patients who experience mild to moderate blood loss during surgery. The safety and efficacy of Oxycyte used to prevent tissue hypoxia in these orthopedic surgical patients will be evaluated in this trial at up to six U.S. clinical sites. The company said it expects to complete this study and report its findings later this year. Based on the results from this trial, the company said it would initiate a larger Phase II trial in the same patient population.

• Vascular Solutions (Minneapolis) said it has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its ThrombiGel hemostatic foam, a new version of its original D-Stat Dry product. The ThrombiGel version contains a gelatin foam pad (replacing the gauze pad in the original D-Stat Dry) to provide a pre-mixed, sterile, gelatin/thrombin hemostat. Two sizes of the ThrombiGel pad were included – ThrombiGel and ThrombiGel XL. Both sizes can be used in a variety of medical procedures for the control of bleeding.