iMedica (Mountain View, California), a clinical information company offering point-of-care wireless charting and automated coding systems, has formed a partnership with Brentwood by Midmark (Torrance, California), a maker of medical and dental equipment. The nonexclusive agreement will enable physicians to view diagnostic 12-lead ECG readings through iMedica's PhysicianSuite, a wireless, pen-based clinical information system that provides HCFA-compliant charting, automated coding and electronic prescription capabilities. "This agreement combines our respective technologies to give cardiologists electronic access to critical patient information," said Charlie Koo, founder and CEO of iMedica. Midmark makes medical and dental equipment, including power and manual examination tables, sterilizers, dental operatories, casework, lighting and seating.

Jostra (Hirrlingen, Germany) reported acquiring a license for a new autotransfusion technology developed by Biosafe, for autotransfuion, a technique whereby a patient's blood is recovered, washed and reinfused, avoiding disease transmissions such as hepatitis and AIDS. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Jostra will commercialize the product under the trademark RotaCell, with the company saying the potential autotransfusion market could potentially be worth $300 million. The Biosafe technology features the ability to recover highly concentrated washed red cells even in cases of low blood loss. Indications cover all types of surgery, including cardiac and orthopedic, and can be extended to postoperative blood recovery. The RotaCell system also is suited for pediatric surgery and mobile services. The system will be available for commercialization toward the end of 2001, Jostra said.

PDSHeart (Stockbridge, Georgia), a provider of cardiac monitoring services and medical diagnostic devices, has formed an alliance with Cardiac Telecom (Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania), the inventors of the Telemetry @ Home cardiac arrhythmia detector and alarm system, giving PDSHEart national distribution rights for the product. Telemetry @ Home automatically detects and calls in heart events, such as syncope, atria fibrillation and other hard-to-detect arrhythmias, even if the patient is asleep. Physicians treating patients suffering from these conditions call the product a critical tool in patient care. Sean Heyniger, president of PDSHeart, said, "Telemetry @ Home gives physicians better, more comprehensive and timely information. In helping them do their job more effectively, patients may enjoy better outcomes." PDSHeart markets an Automatic Triggering Event Recorder, and developed, a product enabling access to Holter test results via the Internet.

Scios (Sunnyvale, California) reported entering a research collaboration with Medtronic (Minneapolis, Minnesota) to study the effects of Scios' investigational agent Natrecor (nesiritide) in combination with Medtronic's heart failure devices and implantable infusion systems. Natrecor is a recombinant form of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), a hormone that aids healthy functioning of the heart by causing arteries and veins to dilate, improving hemodynamic measures and alleviating symptoms of acute CHF. Scios chief scientific officer George Schreiner, MD, PhD, said, the research will explore "the potential for new heart failure treatments combining Natrecor's unique therapeutic properties with Medtronic's approach to the treatment of heart failure." In the first of a planned program of pilot clinical studies, the hemodynamic and clinical effects of Natrecor, including the effects on spontaneous activity and controlled exercise tolerance, will be evaluated using information collected by Medtronic's Chronicle implantable hemodynamic monitor (IHM) during and after infusions of Natrecor. The pilot feasibility study is expected to begin this quarter at the Karolinska Hospital (Stockholm, Sweden). Both Natrecor and the Chronicle IHM are currently under clinical investigation in the U.S. If approved for marketing by the FDA, Natrecor would be the first new treatment available for acute CHF in over a decade. The Chronicle IHM is an implanted system designed to measure and record hemodynamic variables over time (e.g. right ventricular systolic and diastolic pressures, estimated pulmonary artery diastolic pressure, heart rate and activity). The Chronicle system is being studied in a worldwide multicenter clinical trial. Medtronic said it expects to file for U.S. and European marketing approvals for this system by the end of this year.

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