Industry round-up: Agfa, Amicas, ARRT, athenahealth, CardiArc, CMS, Medipattern, Merge, USEI
Agfa HealthCare announced that Southern Regional Health System (SRHS) of Riverdale, Ga. has selected its integrated RIS/PACS/Reporting system, IMPAX Enterprise, for its diagnostic imaging department. The move will help SRHS tie together various systems within the facility, giving the group an efficient way to handle the community's imaging needs. 

The implementation will proceed in a phased approach with the RIS expected to go live in July. The PACS system will be deployed across the facility and will include orthopedic and mammography capabilities. SRHS is also putting in seven CR 85-X computed radiography systems with Agfa HealthCare NX software for their main radiology, ICU, ER and neonatal intensive care unit areas.

Amicas Inc. said that four rural, critical access hospitals sharing a single radiology group have chosen AMICAS Vision Series PACS as the platform on which they will consolidate their imaging IT operations. The facilities include Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital (Lebanon, N.H.), Mount Ascutney Hospital and Health Center (Windsor, Vt.), New London Hospital (New London, N.H.), and Valley Regional Hospital (Claremont, N.H.).

Bill Murtaugh and Lauren Wood have joined ARRT (The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists).
Murtaugh, an MBA, is ARRT’s new chief financial officer, with oversight responsibilities for accounting, banking, business insurance, budgeting, planning, reporting, and benefits administration. He also works with the board of trustees’ investment and finance and audit committees.

Wood, an RN and PhD, accepted the director of psychometric services position. She is a licensed psychologist who was most recently director of test development for Thomson Prometric, an international testing company.

athenahealth Inc., a provider of web-based services and software for medical practices, and the Oregon Medical Association (OMA), the state's largest medical association, have aligned to offer athenahealth's web-based practice management services to over 7,400 OMA physician members. Under the terms of the agreement, the OMA members will receive a discount on athenahealth's services.

CardiArc Inc. announced manufacturing of its new SPECT system, the CardiArc scanner, is underway following an agreement with Creative Technology Services (CTS) of Canton, Mich. CTS also will support CardiArc users with a new digital video customer hotline enabling customers to video-conference with CardiArc's help desk and/or service personnel while working with this FDA-approved medical device.

The CardiArc SPECT device has been specifically optimized for use in outpatient settings and emergency rooms. It can pass through a standard 30-inch wide doorway, can be used in a 6- by 7-foot exam room, requires no room modifications for installation or operation and uses U.S. or European standard voltage. The CardiArc SPECT system provides fast imaging times and high resolution – with less than one minute setup time, radiation shielding for the technologist and patient comfort. The system will be displayed June 2–5 at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 54th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

CardiArc also announced the appointment of Terry Garner as vice president of sales and marketing. Among other duties, he is managing a team of sales and customer support professionals regionally located in markets across the U.S. He joins CardiArc after 16 years in medical affairs at Bristol-Myers Squibb Medical Imaging, serving most recently as associate director of field operations in nuclear cardiology. Garner was responsible for providing clinical, technical, education and research support for customers worldwide.

CMS Inc., a provider of radiation treatment planning and workflow management systems, is providing a new, sophisticated treatment planning system for the Cancer Centre in the Bahamas.  The system will help retain native patients seeking treatment in the Bahamas as well as help attract cancer patients from neighboring areas.

XiO is a comprehensive treatment planning system with the most recent tools and dose calculation algorithms, allowing users to generate treatment plans efficiently to optimize the delivery of radiation therapy.  XiO’s integrated planning capabilities support a range of treatment modalities, including 3D, MLC-based IMRT (both sliding window and step-and-shoot), solid compensator-based IMRT, brachytherapy, and proton therapy. XiO leverages a Linux operating system and the processing power of dual Intel processors to deliver 3D image rendering, real-time image manipulation, and rapid calculation times.

The Medipattern Corporation signed a distribution agreements with Electronica y Medicina, S.A. (EYMSA), headquartered in Mexico, and Dong Jin Medical Co. Ltd., based in Seoul, Korea. These agreements are part of Medipattern's comprehensive strategy to establish a global distribution network for its products, and specifically to bring its B-CAD to Mexico and Korea.

"Recent studies have shown that women of Hispanic heritage have increased risk of breast cancer and are more resistant to the most frequently used treatments," said Cuauhtemoc Monroy Rivera, sales manager of EYMSA. "Mexico needs the capability of diagnosing breast cancer in younger women and ultrasound is the best technology for that purpose. But it is very susceptible to various interpretations and is not standardized. B-CAD brings standardization to interpreting the images and adds the expertise of CAD to help every radiologist in understanding the images presented during each exam."

Dong Jin Medical Co. Ltd. was founded in 1989, and has three divisions with a staff of 20 employees

"Breast ultrasound is widely used in Korea today," said J. W. Kim, managing director of Dong Jin Medical. "The methodology behind the BI-RADS lexicon (the American College of Radiology's breast imaging template) brings diagnostic capability to breast ultrasound and B-CAD will help widespread adoption of the lexicon. B-CAD can be used to train practitioners in BI-RADS and then streamline the process to make ultrasound easy to use and increase its effectiveness."

Merge Healthcare saw Q1 2007 net sales of $15.7 million compared to $16.2 million in Q1 2006 and $13.2 million. The net loss for Q1of 2007 totaled $10.1 million, compared to a net loss of $4.9 million in Q1 2006.

U.S. Electronics Inc. (USEI) will introduce at SIIM 2007 in Providence, R.I., June 7-10, a Model ME551i2 monochrome 21.3-inch, 5-megapixel LCD display with Sentinel II Front sensor technology to aid DICOM remote calibration.

The ME55i2 monochrome display has a 2560 x 2048 native resolution, viewing angle of 170 degrees in all directions, and max brightness of 750 nits. It provides a contrast ratio of 800:1, digital visual interface (DVI) and supports both portrait and landscape modes, as well as 11.9bit (3826 gray scales). 

Additional features include universal VESA mounting for wall mount or desk stand.  This display also meets worldwide safety approvals in addition to medical safety approvals such as UL2601-1 and IEC 601-1.