Sodexho acquires ISO Patriot Medical Technologies
Food and facilities management firm Sodexho (Gaithersburg, Md.) on Sept. 3 announced its acquisition of clinical services provider Patriot Medical Technologies Inc. (Nashville, Tenn.) for an undisclosed amount.

Sodexho is the North American affiliate of Sodexho Alliance SA (Montigny-le-Bret, France). Sodexho employs approximately 130,000 people in North America and some 313,000 worldwide.

The new business unit will operate as Sodexho Clinical Equipment Services.

Ric Naylor, president and founder of Patriot Medical Technologies, declined to discuss specifics of the transaction, including the size of Patriot’s work force. However, he said that no employees are expected to lose their jobs; in fact, he predicted an increase in employment overall.


Fluke purchases IR thermometry maker
Fluke Corp. (Everett, Wash.) in September announced it had acquired infrared (IR) thermometry manufacturer Raytek Corp. (Santa Cruz, Calif.).

The announcement indicated the acquisition was through Fluke’s corporate parent, Danaher Corporation, but provided no financial details.

Fluke said in a company statement that it will retain the Raytek brand name together with its locations and staff around the world. Raytek president, Cliff Warren, will report directly to Fluke president, Jim Lico.

Founded in 1963, Raytek designs, manufacturers, markets and services a complete line of IR noncontact temperature measurement instruments used by professionals in the industrial, process control and maintenance fields. It reported revenues in excess of $50 million in 2001, according to the release.


Tech Talk

During the rare moment when the Web Worm takes a break from cyberspace, you can bet our favorite Mud Muncher has the radio on. And one of the Legless Listener’s favorite on-air programs is Tech Talk on WMAL (AM 630) at Stratford University in Virginia, a show covering everything computers. From hardware to software, from networks to wireless, TechTalk provides the 4-1-1 on the IT, OS, and DSL that any good techie would need.

Tech Talk is broadcast live every Saturday at noon in the Washington, D.C., area with hosts David Burd and Richard Shurtz, who is president of Stratford University. But if you’re not in the Beltway, don’t fret — the tech heads at WMAL have archived the past shows online at the show’s web site, which can be accessed from Stratford’s home page at www.stratford.edu.

 Given that Tech Talk is broadcast from a college radio station, it’s no surprise that one of the show’s main areas of emphasis is its career advice. But the Tenderbellied Techie was tickled pink to find the Tech Talk newsletter posted on the site with links to a variety of sources and an e-mail list.

Now, if they would only do a show on cleaning the mud from your keyboard without using your hands.

Tech Talks

http://www.stratford.edu


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Spider-Men
It has certainly been a good year to be a spider. Once considered only creepy crawlies, the box-office smash Spider-Man has gone a long way toward proving the redeeming qualities of arachnids. Also this year, another lesser-known but much more realistic project has been proving the spider’s value in the modern world.

 Unbeknownst to Kirsten Dunst, Drexel University materials engineering professor Frank Ko has teamed up with researchers at UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, headed by professor Thomas Hahn, to investigate making better materials by emulating the spider’s process in spinning webs. Ko has spent years investigating spider’s silk and found it has a rare combination of strength and toughness that would be valuable in many industrial and consumer materials.


ECRI  Debuts Online Product Comparison System
ECRI (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) in September launched its new online Healthcare Product Comparison System (HPCS), a database of brand-name model specifications with comparison features for more than 450 types of medical devices.

The HPCS allows for customized side-by-side comparisons that include only the models the user wants to compare. Information is updated weekly and can be accessed using advanced search features.

The HPCS service also helps biomedical engineers, materials managers, architects, equipment planners and others answer key questions, including: What models best meet my needs? What are the hidden costs and essential factors to consider? What patient safety issues are involved? Should we invest in this technology now or should we wait?


Kinetic Biomedical to service Second Look CAD
Kinetic Biomedical Services Inc. (Erie, Pa.) has entered into an agreement to provide preventive maintenance and repairs to Canadian-based CADx Medical Systems’ Second Look mammography product.

Second Look, which received FDA approval in February, is a standalone computer-aided detection (CAD) mammography system that highlights potential areas of concern on a mammogram by noting changes in tissue that may indicate the presence of cancer.


FDA, CDC Investigating Deaths of 5 Dialysis Patients
The unexplained deaths of five kidney dialysis patients prompted federal regulators to warn dialysis centers on Sept. 12 to stop using a certain combination of blood tubing and dialysis machines.

The FDA issued the warning after dialysis equipment manufacturer Baxter Healthcare Corp. (Deerfield, Ill.), a subsidiary of Baxter International Inc., notified the agency of the five deaths and two injuries.

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta) are conducting an investigation. At the time of the warning, it remained unclear whether the deaths were linked to the equipment or were the result of other factors.


Nexterna’s Clearview System to Direct DSI Dispatch
Hospital and institutional beverage equipment supplier Dispenser Services Inc. (DSI) has selected Nexterna’s Clearview field resource management system for its dispatch and field service operations.

Nexterna will provide DSI with the Clearview service management application, integrated mobile service management software, personal digital assistants (PDAs), wireless data connectivity with a combination of cellular and satellite air-time, real-time vehicle location using GPS (global positioning system) technology and customer Web access.

Carol Rhodes, DSI customer service manager, said, “With this system we can quickly pick the best technician based on their location, available inventory, and the skills necessary to perform the service required.”


CMIA Seeking ‘Professional of the Year’
The California Medical Instrumentation Association (CMIA of Sacramento) is accepting nominations for its Professional of the Year award. The award, sponsored by Welch Allyn Inc. (Skaneateles, N.Y.), will be presented in January 2003 to the individual judged to have given personally and professionally to the field of biomedical/clinical engineering and to his or her local community.

The award carries with it a $1,000 prize, a plaque identifying the winner as CMIA Professional of the Year, automatic nomination for the appropriate Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) awards and additional forms of recognition. Any CMIA individual member in good standing is eligible. CMIA board members cannot be considered.

All nominations must be submitted to the CMIA board of directors no later than Nov. 30.


AAMI Schedules Sterilization Course
A comprehensive, three-and-a-half-day course from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) entitled “Industrial Sterilization for Medical Devices” is scheduled for Nov. 11-14 at the Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, Calif.

The course addresses sterilization technologies and methods, sterilization standards, FDA requirements, critical factors in product design and more.

Registration fees include all course materials, continental breakfast, lunch on days one, two and three, and refreshments. Fees are $1,400 for AAMI corporate and institutional members; $1,500 for AAMI individual members; $1,800 for nonmembers; and $300 for government employees.


UC Irvine Offers Certificate in Product Development
UC Irvine Extension, the continuing education (CE) arm of the University of California at Irvine, is offering a certificate program in Medical Product Development.

The curriculum focuses on regulatory requirements, product development management, medical device engineering, and manufacturing. It also contains a clinical trial component focusing on the design and management of those trials.


ACCE Elects Officers for 2002-2003
The American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE) announces its officers for the 2002-2003 term.

Current president-elect Ray Zambuto steps into the president’s post and will serve a one-year term. A practicing clinical engineer since 1969, Zambuto is president and CEO of Technology in Medicine Inc. (Holliston, Mass.), an independent service organization. He is also a member of ACCE’s Clinical Engineering Certification committee.

Former ACCE secretary Izabella Gieras has been named president-elect for a one-year term. Gieras completed her master’s degree in biomedical engineering with a clinical engineering internship from the University of Connecticut. She is a clinical engineer with Beaumont Services Co. LLC, in Royal Oak, Mich.


From Biolitec: New Agreement, New Web Site
Laser manufacturer biolitec Inc. (East Longmeadow, Mass.) announces a new distribution agreement and a newly designed Web site.

The company’s exclusive distribution agreement is with AngioDynamics, a wholly owned subsidiary of E-Z-Em Inc. (Westbury, N.Y.). It covers the interventional radiology and vascular surgery markets.

Under the terms of agreement, valued at $35 million to $68 million, biolitec will provide AngioDynamics with Ceralas diode lasers over a five-year period.


Dräger Medical to Sell Zoll Defibrillators in European Markets
Dräger Medical AG & Co. (Lübeck, Germany) and Zoll Medical Corp. (Burlington, Mass.) recently entered into a distribution agreement providing for the sale of Zoll resuscitation products through Dräger Medical sales channels in targeted Western and Eastern European markets.

Zoll’s current product portfolio includes the M Series defibrillator, marketed to the traditional hospital and EMS markets, and the AED Plus, a defibrillator designed for the persons first on the scene with a combination of step-by-step illustrations and audio coaching features to help rescuers through the life-saving process.

“Between Dräger’s sizable market penetration, name recognition, and proven sales and service network worldwide, we anticipate this partnership will contribute to our expanding presence in European markets,” Ronald Melieste, Zoll Medical’s director of European markets, said in a statement. “Through a strong local partner, we plan to penetrate further the estimated $150 million market for resuscitation products throughout Europe.”


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