TriMedx provides med-tech aid to third-world countries; Siemens service organization gets top marks; Morse named ACCE fellow; and new ultrasound probe testing device

TriMedx Provides Med-Tech Aid to Third-World Countries

 TriMedx volunteer Todd Poor, accompanied by Dr Adolph, instructs Dolo, Ethiopia, hospital workers on how to use and repair portable C-arm equipment.

Medical equipment and physicians seem to be the first resources people reach for when hoping to aid underdeveloped nations. Yet without people trained to operate and repair vital technology, even the most advanced piece of medical equipment is nothing but a chunk of useless metal. It was with this realization that TriMedx Healthcare Equipment Services (Indianapolis) founded the TriMedx Foundation.

The TriMedx Foundation travels around the world with more than 200 biomedical, radiology, and laboratory-technician volunteers repairing and teaching medical staff in third-world countries how to use, maintain, and repair donated equipment. “Many of the hospitals have received good equipment that can still provide a lot of assistance to the people of these communities, if it is properly set up and maintained,” said Foundation Executive Director Ron Tocco.

The need for such a service became apparent after a nun from a mission hospital in Haiti wrote a letter, which was forwarded to Tocco, asking for help with its x-ray equipment. “We cannot figure out what to do next and have a team of surgeons arriving here next month,” she wrote. “They will not be able to do their work without it. Can you send help, please?”

This simple plea started a movement for technicians to explore the globe. The volunteer technicians have traveled to Cuba, Equador, Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, Ethiopia, Malawi, the Ukraine, the Philippines, and Haiti. The foundation now has 5,000 vendors, which provide parts and supplies on an as-needed basis as well as a warehouse to provide goods.

“Anybody who shares our core values and wants to be a part of our mission-support team can do so,” Tocco said. “If there is a biomedical engineer from Omaha, and he’s working in a church in Kenya and he needs help and support, he can contact me and we’ll get involved.” TriMedx also has offered several hospitals to aid the hurricane Katrina relief effort and has sent volunteers into Mobile, Ala. Tocco urges potential TriMedx volunteers to visit the foundation’s Web site at www.trimedxfoundation.com or call them at (866) 855-2580.


 Siemens Service Organization Gets Top Marks
Siemens Medical Solutions Service Organization (Malvern, Pa) is at the top of its game, according to the latest IMV ServiceTrak magnetic resonance image survey. The 464 poll respondents rated manufacturers in categories such as service performance, engineer performance, remote performance, and help desk support.

Siemens Service Organization received the highest grades in 20 out of 33 categories, including happiness with service, all system performance, and support for remote diagnostics. Half of Siemens customers remarked that they felt they were being serviced well, a dramatic improvement from 24% in 2004.

Siemens says their brand of success is based upon proactive and preventive service to keep machines up and running so medical staff can provide patients with better care. The company’s service organization aims to meet the needs of large medical facilities, community hospitals, and diagnostic imaging centers. Siemens Uptime Services boasts its position as one of the largest service organizations in the medical world, serving more than 390,000 Siemens installed systems worldwide.


 Sonora Testing Device Awarded Patents
FirstCall, a new ultrasound probe testing device by Sonora Medical Systems, Longmont, Colo, has received two of three total potential US patents. The American Association of Physicists recently featured the new instrument during three quality-assurance presentations during a meeting in Seattle.

 Morse Named ACCE Fellow
The American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE) has granted Wayne Morse, the founder and president of Morse Medical Inc (Mercer Island, Wash) the coveted title of fellow.

By accepting this honor, Morse has become only one of 15 people to be named a fellow since the college was founded in 1990. Morse played a key role in establishing the ACCE as well as the affiliated organization, the Healthcare Technology Foundation.

The fellow status recognizes noteworthy members in good standing who provide distinguished service to the profession or achievement in the field of clinical engineering.

In addition to presiding over Morse Medical, Morse is vice president of the Healthcare Technology Foundation and a member of the Washington State Biomedical Association, the Washington State Hospital Association, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.