Industry Roundup: Aurora Imaging, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GE, n|Frame, Philips
Breast MRI technology provider Aurora Imaging Technology released its breast MR Imaging system SpiralRODEO, which is designed to speed exam time without a loss in imaging quality. Because of SpiralRODEO’s acquisition efficiency (three times that of traditional 3D Fourier Transform reconstruction), resolution is increased along with a decrease in scan time for better dynamics, said Steven Harms, MD, medical director, Aurora. According to the company, the system is able to produce images that offer signal improvement comparable with that of a 4.5T (Tesla) system. Additionally, Aurora System is designed specifically to image the breast and optimized for breast imaging and interventional procedures. Other system features include an ellipsoid magnetic shim that provides coverage of both breasts, the chest wall, and bilateral axillary lymph nodes; a precision gradient coil with the high linearity required for high-resolution spiral reconstruction; a patient-handling table; a fully integrated Interventional System for MRI-guided biopsy and localization; and the company’s AuroraCAD computer-aided image display system designed to improve the accuracy and efficiency of diagnostic interpretations.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Medical Imaging has been granted permission by the European Commission for marketing of LUMINITY, an ultrasound contrast agent, for use in patients with suboptimal echocardiograms who have suspected or established coronary artery disease. Echocardiography with contrast enhancement is recommended by the British and American Societies of Echocardiography as a method of improving the diagnostic accuracy of suboptimal echocardiograms. LUMINITY helps clinicians gather images of the left ventricular chamber and improve the delineation of the left endocardial border during both rest and stress echocardiography. In a recent study of stress echocardiography, where the resting images were difficult to interpret, 95 percent of the LUMINITY-enhanced images were diagnostic compared to 66 percent of the unenhanced images, and use of the agent reduced the need for follow-up tests, the company said.

GE Healthcare reported revenue of $3.8 billion in Q3 2006, compared to $3.6 billion during the same period in 2005, with overall 9 percent revenue gains for the quarter. The company also saw an 8 percent surge in orders during Q3. Of note were the company’s ultrasound system sales that saw 14 percent global growth.

n|Frame inked a three-year deal with NearMed to build and manage its technology infrastructure specially designed to deliver the company’s teleradiology services to rural hospitals. n|Frame provides NearMed with a secure networking infrastructure that allows hospitals and physician practices, especially those in outlying areas of major cities or with a limited number of trained radiologists on staff, to send extremely large digital images securely over the Internet to radiology specialists at hospitals anywhere in the world.

Philips Medical Systems reported sales of $1.978 billion in Q3 2006, up from $1.92 billion during the same period in 2005. The company saw a 6 percent jump in comparable sales for the quarter, primarily driven by double-digit growth in CT and x-ray. Geographically speaking, the company said, Asia was the biggest driver of this growth.