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European use of circulation support technology

  THE FIRST PATIENT IN EUROPE has been treated with Abiomed’s new intra-aortic balloon (IAB) and iPulseTM Console under their recent CE Mark approval. The procedure provided increased circulation during high-risk angioplasty to an 84-year-old patient requiring stents to the left-main, the vessel that supplies blood to the heart itself. The IAB is designed to enhance blood flow to the heart and other organs for patients with diminished heart function. The iPulse combination console platform drives the IAB and other circulatory support systems.

“We had a positive experience with the iPulse Console and Abiomed’s intra-aortic balloon, finding the technology to be safe and easy-to-use during a high-risk angioplasty. This new intra-aortic balloon is a good front line treatment option to provide patients with minimally invasive cardiac perfusion,” said Dr. J.P.S. Henriques, Cardiologist at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam.

“With our new IAB, Abiomed continues to make progress expanding our global presence and product portfolio,” said Michael R. Minogue, Chairman, CEO and President of Abiomed. “Our iPulse console and new intra-aortic balloon provide Abiomed with an earlier presence along the continuum of patient care, allowing greater access to potentially life-saving heart recovery technologies.” For more information, visit www.abiomed.com

Cook Medical introduces EchoTipTM

COOK MEDICAL has introduced the Cook EchoTip Echogenic Needle to enhance needles’ appearance during ultrasound imaging. Ultrasound guidance is recommended by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for needle placements, as it has safety benefits including real-time observation of the needle, lower cost and lack of ionising radiation. In order to improve needle visibility, Cook has enhanced the echogenic properties of its needles for physicians using the company’s central venous catheters for venous pressure monitoring, blood sampling and administration of drugs and fluids. With enhanced tip visibility under ultrasound imaging, the EchoTip Echogenic Needle improves the success rate of venous access.

“The EchoTip significantly improves a caregiver’s ability to identify the exact ‘tip’ location of a needle, and therefore successfully access small targets,” said Bruce Gingles, global leader of Cook Medical’s critical care division. “Cook’s central venous catheters are the only catheters on the market with echogenic needles.”

Cook EchoTip Echogenic Needles are now available with the Cook central venous catheter and Thai-Quick Chest Tube sets and trays. Cook Medical was named the 2006 Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry Magazine Medical Device Manufacturer of the Year. For more details, visit www.cookmedical.com

MedifyRemote units suplied to GPs

  THE FIRST MEDIFYREMOTE units have been supplied to British GPs by UK distributor Dextra Solutions for UK wireless healthcare company Medify Solutions.

MedifyRemote is the first secure mobile patient note access application to be adopted throughout the NHS. It allows healthcare professionals to access, review and update the patient’s complete medical history in a single, secure session via a Microsoft Windows-enabled PDA device.

A MedifyRemote direct e-mail campaign has led to a high level of orders and enquiries. These are being passed to Dextra Solutions for fulfilment. Dextra Solutions are working alongside Medify Solutions to minimise the time between order and product delivery, supplying direct to MedifyRemote customers.

Angie Simpson, sales director for Dextra Solutions, said: “To see orders placed and deliveries despatched early in the partnership bodes very well indeed. We see MedifyRemote as a groundbreaking data application and believe the potential business customer base does too.”

Ian O’Reilly, CEO of Medify Solutions Group, said: “The choice of Dextra Solutions as the fulfilment partner for MedifyRemote UK customers was based on our need for a credible and capable organisation that could meet our demand.” For more information, visit www.medifysolutions.com

Air purifier that kills H5N1 launched by Tri-Air

BRITISH COMPANY TRI-AIR DEVELOPMENTS has developed an air purifier that kills colds and flu germs, including H5N1 bird flu, MRSA and anthrax. The system simulates the production of fresh air to destroy airborne viruses and bacteria in minutes within private, work and public spaces.

The biotechnology unit combines three established decontamination technologies: non-thermal plasma, ultraviolet catalysis and ‘open air factor’ (OAF). The purification unit has 99.9999% effectiveness in killing an airborne surrogate test virus within 5 minutes. Tri-Air Developments claims this is 100 times more effective than current decontamination methods. The air purifier creates an OAF that destroys bacteria and viruses in the air and on surface contact. The d e c o n t a m i n a t i o n process occurs both within and outside the machine, dispersing the OAF throughout the entire space.

The unit can be adapted for a range of domestic, commercial, medical and industrial applications, including large ventilation systems for use in hospitals. Commercialisation advisors PricewaterhouseCoopers are now contacting global manufacturers to structure rights for production in 2007.

For more information, visit www.tri-airdevelopments.com

Southampton researchers develop ‘clever’ hand

RESEARCHERS AT the University of Southampton have built a prototype of a prosthetic hand with basic functionality and movement. Professor Neil White, Dr Paul Chappell, Dr Andy Cranny and Darryl Cotton at the University’s School of Electronics & Computer Science (ECS) have created the Southampton Remedi-Hand, which not only mimics the motion of a human hand but also has ‘senses’.

Increasing the number of grasping patterns and improving the sensory feedback from objects were key objectives in developing the Remidi-Hand. “The last few decades have produced significant improvements in the design of upper limb prostheses,” said Dr Chappell. “But up to now, there have been limits in terms of sensory touch and movement.”

Professor White’s work on developing sensors for the electronics industry has enabled him to develop piezoelectric sensors to assist grasping. “We need multiple sensors in a hand to mimic the natural processes as far as possible,” he said. “In the past, cost has been an issue in the development of prosthetic limbs, particularly upper limbs, but we have found a way to add multiple senses using low-cost technology.” For more details, visit www.ecs.soton.ac.uk

Tunstall supports Virtual Care Village scheme

  CUMBRIA COUNTY COUNCIL has mainstreamed the use of telecare as part of an innovative health and social care initiative to provide round-the-clock care for people in rural communities. Telecare packages from UK company Tunstall will be installed in 500 homes across the county. These services will support people in their own homes and reduce the need for hospital and residential care, as part of the Council’s Virtual Care Village model.

Kevin Alderson, Public Sector Policy Director at Tunstall, said: “This is a great opportunity for everyone in Cumbria, with telecare packages offering a cost-effective alternative to traditional residential care and helping to reduce some of the burden on healthcare providers, hospitals and residential care homes, while also giving users the help and support they need and enabling them to remain independent for longer.” The telecare packages consist of a Tunstall Lifeline unit that provides a link to a 24-hour response centre, and a range of intelligent telecare sensors that raise an automatic alarm if falls, intruders or environmental dangers are detected. Cumbria County Council was awarded £860,000 in funding as part of the £80m Preventative Technology Grant, and decided to commission telecare services across the county. For more information, visit www.tunstall.co.uk

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