A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, California), a manufacturer of integrated cancer therapy systems as well as X-ray tubes and flat-panel sensors for imaging in medical, scientific and industrial applications said that, under a two-year agreement, it will be supplying Xoran Technologies (Ann Arbor, Michigan) with Varian's PaxScan amorphous silicon flat-panel digital X-ray detectors for incorporation into Xoran's MiniCAT for ENT scanners, for imaging by ear/nose/throat physicians.

Xoran Technologies is a maker of compact, upright, in-office computed tomography (CT) scanners designed to meet the specific imaging needs of medical specialists. The company's MiniCAT for ENT scanner enables ENT physicians to generate high-resolution, digital CT scans right in their offices, and to instantly display, store, or transmit them for teleradiology consultations with other specialists.

The MiniCAT for ENT scanner features an overhead scanning arm fitted with an X-ray source and Varian's PaxScan flat panel X-ray detector on either side. The scanning arm makes a single rotation around the patient's head and generates immediate, three-dimensional CT images, making it ideal for diagnosis and operative planning for the temporal bones, the base of the skull, or the sinuses. The system can complete a three-dimensional scan in less than forty seconds, yielding highly detailed images with excellent spatial resolution, at a lower radiation dose than used in conventional CT scanning.

Medwave (Danvers, Massachusetts), a developer of sensor-based, non-invasive blood pressure measuring solutions, reported that it has signed an OEM supply and license agreement with Analogic (Peabody, Massachusetts) a manufacturer of systems and subsystems for medical imaging and patient monitoring platforms.

Under the agreement, Analogic will incorporate Medwave's non-invasive blood pressure technology into its patient monitoring product line. This agreement also allows Analogic to integrate Medwave's sensor-based blood pressure solutions into their own products, or products that they design and manufacture for other medical device companies.

Tim O'Malley, president and CEO of Medwave, said, "We have been working diligently for several years to effect change in the blood pressure monitoring market where there has not been significant technology improvements in decades. Analogic's decision to implement Medwave's sensor-based blood pressure technology is a strong testimonial that our technology is creating new standards for non-invasive blood pressure monitoring."

O'Malley added: "Medwave has worked with clinical researchers over the last several years to prove that the performance of our technology is superior to conventional blood pressure cuff technology. Studies and user reports and testimonials have shown repeatedly that our sensor-based solutions are faster, more flexible, more comfortable and more accurate than cuff-based products."

The University at Buffalo (UB; Buffalo, New York) said it has signed an accord with Sleep Solutions (SSI; Annapolis, Maryland) for SSI to market a diagnostic testing technology for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR). Financial terms of the agreement were not reported.

SSI provides technology and services for at-home diagnosis, therapy and care management of sleep-disordered breathing, particularly OSA, which affects 18 million people in the U.S., with as many as 90% going undiagnosed. In addition, CSR, a sleep-disordered breathing condition oc-curring in patients with congestive heart failure, affects an additional 4.6 million Americans.

"This technology represents a substantive advancement in the way OSA can be diagnosed," said Michael Thomas, president and CEO of SSI. "This new product will broaden our portfolio of services of less expensive, more patient-friendly diagnostic testing products delivered directly to OSA patients in their homes."

It described the UB technology as a software algorithm using a form of artificial intelligence, which it terms "a neural network," to detect OSA and CSR using pulse oximetry signaling.

Ali El-Solh, MD, associate professor of medicine, and Brydon Grant, MD, professor of medicine in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Jacek Dmochowski, formerly with UB, developed the software programs and algorithms. The technology is based on analysis of the oximetric recordings of 213 sleep studies. The developers said the software has demonstrated high sensitivities and specificities for diagnosing CSR and OSA.

"SSI has contracted with many of the leading managed care organizations throughout the U.S. and developed strong brand awareness of innovation, cost-effectiveness and high-quality services with our core product, NovaSom QSG," noted Thomas.

Robert Genco interim vice president for research and director of the UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach, cited "a growing worldwide clinical need to provide a cost-effective solution" for diagnosing both OSA and CSR.

"We are very confident that Sleep Solutions will be able to bring this novel technology to the marketplace resulting in a lower-costing, easier-to-implement diagnostic tool for the public good."

UB has filed for patent protection on behalf of the Research Foundation of the State University of New York. The technology has been issued two patents, with an additional patent application pending.