A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

DR Systems (San Diego), a provider of film-free medical systems and paperless information systems for diagnostic imaging centers and hospitals, reported that it has signed multiple contracts worth more than $2 million for the Dominator RIS/PACS (radiology information system/picture archiving and communications system) with radiology diagnostic imaging centers across the country.

"The industry has been racing to deploy a single enterprisewide RIS/PACS solution for some time," said Murray Reicher, MD, chairman and co-founder of DR Systems. "Other vendors have generally pursued the pathway of acquiring disparate RIS and PACS companies, and then merging systems and corporate cultures that were never originally designed to operate as an integrated system. By contrast, DR's approach has been to design a tightly integrated RIS/PACS solution in-house, resulting in efficiencies for the healthcare enterprise that only a unified product can provide. DR Systems offers a universal image and information-management solution and has the experience and subspecialty expertise that imaging specialty departments really need."

DR Systems said its RIS/PACS is scalable for the needs of both hospitals and imaging centers.

Contracts are with Baltimore Imaging Centers (Baltimore), Cedar Valley Radiology (Waterloo, Iowa) and Desert Valley Radiology (Phoenix). In addition, Great Neck Imaging (Great Neck, New York), a longtime DR Systems customer, has contracted to upgrade its Dominator PACS to the DR Systems RIS/PACS, the company said.

KineMed (Emeryville, California), a drug development and diagnostics company, said that the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a unit of the National Institutes of Health (NIH; both Bethesda, Maryland), has awarded it a Phase I SBIR grant to develop applications of a KineMarker assay for myelin disorders.

The company's KineMarkers are in vivo, stable isotope kinetic biomarkers that measure the flux of molecules thro- ugh complex and therapeutically relevant biological pathways.

As part of KineMed's neurobiology initiative, company researchers have developed a biomarker that measures the synthesis of myelin, the outer covering of nerve cells that is destroyed in multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases.

David Fineman, president and CEO of KineMed, said, "[our] proprietary assay technologies reveal new understandings of pathogenesis, and we look forward to developing both a preclinical and clinical kinetic biomarker test in multiple sclerosis and other disorders of demyelination which may enhance the efficiency of drug development and also guide clinical decision making and alternate treatment strategies."

He said the new grant is in addition to more than $5 million previously awarded in the areas of prostate cancer, osteo- arthritis, toxicology, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

In other grants/contracts news:

HemoSense (San Jose, California) reported new distribution agreements with FDI Medical (Natick, Massachusetts), STAT Technologies (Golden Valley, Minnesota), and Whitmire Medical (Sumner, Washington) to sell HemoSense's INRatio product line to U.S. healthcare providers.

The portable INRatio Prothrombin Time (PT) Monitoring System provides PT/INR (International Normalized Ratio) test results for anticoagulation therapy patients who are taking the blood thinner Coumadin. Anticoagulation patients typically have venous blood drawn and sent to a lab, delaying analysis. The INRatio System provides results in less than two minutes using one drop of fresh whole blood from a finger stick, HemoSense said.

Tim Still, executive vice president of sales and marketing at HemoSense, said, "The INRatio offers clear cost and time advantages over alternative INR testing methods, and these new partners will help bring those benefits to more healthcare professionals who manage patients on anticoagulation therapy."

HemoSense develops point-of-care blood coagulation monitoring systems.

Longport (Glen Mills, Pennsylvania), a firm specializing in high-resolution ultrasound imaging, reported receiving a $1.7 million National Institutes of Health (NIH; Bethesda, Maryland) grant application for a three-year collaborative study of pressure ulcer development using its Episcan I-200 technology.

The principal investigator, Dr. Courtney Lyder of the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia), in collaboration with Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology (both Atlanta), will explore methods for improved detection of pressure ulcer risk and development in people of color. The research will use the Longport Episcan I-200 to identify ultrasound findings associated with pressure ulcer development to determine more appropriate assessment methods for improved identification of risk for people of color and ultimately to eliminate the current disparity.

Lyder said his motivation for this project is based on his knowledge of research that indicates a significant disparity whereby black and Hispanic elders are more likely to develop full-thickness skin loss (Stage III and Stage IV pressure ulcers) as compared to their Caucasian counterparts.

According to Lyder, this disparity likely is due to the difficulty of detecting the skin changes associated with pressure ulcer development in individuals with darkly pigmented skin.

Lyder is a professor of nursing, internal medicine and geriatrics, and the inaugural holder of the University of Virginia Medical Center professorship in nursing.

Med1Online (Arvada, Colorado), an online distributor of capital medical equipment, said it has entered into an agreement with Toshiba America Medical Systems (TAMS; Tustin, California) to be an exclusive Internet distributor for the company's Nemio ultrasound product line in the U.S.

"This new relationship enables physicians to easily find, demonstrate and purchase all online our Nemio products," said Adel Girgis, director of alternate distribution channels at TAMS. "By combining Med1Online capabilities of reaching wide audiences and closing sales through their online demonstration and applications capabilities with TAMS innovative advancements in system utility and image quality, TAMS can greatly increase Nemio ultrasound presence in the U.S."