A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Paladin Data Systems (Poulsbo, Washington), a privately owned software engineering solutions firm, said that it has been awarded a $1.8 million contract from the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command to conduct additional research and expand the Outbreak Detection Information Network (ODIN).

ODIN is a wide-area monitoring program designed to detect near-real-time trends in healthcare treatment and diagnosis.

The project is a joint research and development effort of Paladin Data Systems, the Foundation for Health Care Quality (Seattle), the Department of Defense, the University of Washington (Seattle), the Washington State Department of Health and the public health departments of Kitsap County, Tacoma/Pierce County and Seattle/King County.

The original goal of the ODIN project was to provide early detection of bioterrorism events.

"This technology has the potential to greatly improve our response times to a bioterrorism act," said ODIN principal investigator, Dr. Peter Dunbar of the Foundation for Health Care Quality. "It also offers the capability to better monitor and track normal health events across communities, such as flu, food poisoning, SARS and other types of outbreaks."

The ODIN system has been under development for the past year in the Puget Sound region, and the additional funding will expand the system to cover more of Washington state and integrate additional sources of information into the system, such as over-the-counter drug sales and 911 aid calls.

"We've been able to expand on Sen. Patty Murray's initial vision of a system that merged the public and Department of Defense health monitoring into a common view," said Gary Macy, Paladin ODIN project leader.

He added that it was accomplished "by creating an integrated system that provides enhanced functionality and data interchange to users across geographic and organizational boundaries, without adding significantly to the overall cost of the system."

"The ODIN project will serve to create a statewide Syndromic Surveillance system," said Dunbar. "ODIN has the potential to make health data sharing between healthcare systems possible, providing a huge opportunity to increase patient safety for all Washington residents."

He added: "I believe that we have the potential to create a significant positive impact on the healthcare infrastructure of not only the state, but the nation."

IRIS International (Chatsworth, California), a manufacturer of automated IVD urinalysis systems and medical devices used in hospitals and reference clinical laboratories worldwide, reported that it has entered into a supply agreement for its iQ200 Automated Urinalysis System and related products with Consorta (Rolling Meadows, Illinois) a healthcare resource management and group purchasing organization.

Consorta's shareholders are among the leading integrators of nonprofit healthcare in America, sponsoring significant care providers nationwide. The organization's 13 shareholder healthcare systems represent 60% of all Catholic hospitals in the U.S. The Consorta membership encompasses more than 2,400 care sites with over 78,000 patient care beds.

Under the terms of the three-year, dual-source agreement, Consorta-affiliated hospitals throughout the U.S. can purchase the iQ200 Automated Urine Microscopy Analyzer and flagship iQ200 Automated Urinalysis System, which combines the iQ200 analyzer with the AX-4280 Automated Urine Chemistry Analyzer, resulting in the only fully integrated platform in the world performing complete urinalysis, both chemistry and microscopy.

In other grants/contracts news:

Banner Health (Phoenix), one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare systems in the U.S., has selected a comprehensive solution from HP (Palo Alto, California) in support of its Arizona Regional Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) Archive.

Banner Health's Arizona facilities, dispersed over a 100-mile radius in the Phoenix area, perform more than 800,000 radiology and cardiology procedures annually, including computed tomography scans, MRIs and digital mammographies.

By 2009, the archive is expected to grow to more than 1.2 petabytes of data more than 1,000 trillion to support seven medical facilities throughout central Arizona.

The HP solution, which includes HP ProLiant DL 380 servers, HP StorageWorks Modular Smart Arrays, project management, implementation, deployment and integration services and 24/7 operational support, will enable fast, reliable retrieval of this data.

The solution, powered by StorageGRID software from Bycast, will interface with multiple existing PACS image management systems. Bycast serves as HP's strategic partner to develop fixed-content storage solutions for the healthcare industry. HP began the implementation process for Banner Health in December.

PrecisionMed (San Diego) and Phenomenome Discoveries (Saskatoon, Alberta) are undertaking a collaboration to develop noninvasive diagnostics for Alzheimer's disease and bipolar disorder using PrecisionMed's clinical samples and information and Phenomenome's diagnostics discovery and testing platform.

Terms were not disclosed.

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