AAMI Calls for Award Nominations
Each year, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI of Arlington, Va) recognizes career achievement and superior development, research, and applications, including engineering and related services, at its annual conference and exposition. The deadline to nominate outstanding individuals for the 2006 awards is March 15, 2006. The AAMI Foundation Awards include:

 David Boccia (L) of GE Healthcare presents the 2005 AAMI/GE BMET Award to Glen Wolfe.

• AAMI Foundation Laufman-Greatbatch Prize—honors an individual or group that has made a unique and significant contribution to the advancement of medical instrumentation.
• AAMI Clinical/Biomedical Engineering Achievement Award—recognizes individual excellence and achievement in the fields of clinical engineering and biomedical engineering.
• AAMI Becton Dickinson Career Achievement Award—identifies and encourages outstanding achievement(s) by a promising health care professional in the development or improvement of medical devices, instruments, or systems that will help people live healthy lives.
• AAMI Foundation/TISCOR (Herb Gardner Foundation) Award—recognizes a midcareer biomedical professional who seeks to advance his or her career by pursuing an undergraduate or advanced degree, or by completing training at an appropriate technical school.
• AAMI/GE Medical Systems BMET of the Year Award—given to a biomedical equipment technician to recognize excellence in the field of biomedical equipment technology.
• AAMI Foundation/ACCE Robert L Morris Humanitarian Award—honors individuals who have worked to improve global health conditions through the application of health technology.
• AAMI Foundation/ Institute for Technology and Healthcare Award—awarded to a clinical engineer in recognition of an innovative solution that has been developed to address a clinical patient-care problem and that demonstrates clinical application and efficacy.
Winners will receive a monetary award, a plaque, and up to $500 in travel expenses to accept the award during the AAMI Annual Conference and Exposition, June 24–26, 2006, in Washington, DC. For more information and to download a nomination form, visit www.aami.org/awards/index.html or contact Lori Freeman by email at lfreeman@aami.org.

Welch Allyn Introduces Shock-Resistant Sphygmomanometer
Welch Allyn (Skaneateles Falls, NY) has introduced a new aneroid to complete its line of sphygmomanometers featuring DuraShock technology, the company’s gear-free, shock-resistant innovation in blood-pressure product design. The new blood-pressure gauges with DuraShock technology are gear-free, enabling them to stay calibrated longer and allowing health care practitioners to maintain the accuracy of their blood-pressure readings over time.

 The gear-free, shock-resistant blood-pressure gauge can withstand everyday use and abuse and stay calibrated longer.

“We developed DuraShock technology to help health care practitioners meet the demands placed on them every day,” said Tom Grant, Welch Allyn group product director. “By creating a series of aneroids with this gear-free, shock-resistant technology, caregivers will now have equipment that withstands everyday use and abuse, meaning they can have more confidence that their blood-pressure readings maintain accuracy.”

Welch Allyn gauges with DuraShock technology can withstand a drop from up to 60 inches and maintain calibration, making them the first gear-free gauges capable of surpassing the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation’s shock-resistant specification of retaining calibration after a 30-inch drop.

“Every day, blood-pressure gauges get dropped on the floor, tossed onto a countertop, or even slammed in a drawer, often causing them to fall out of calibration, unbeknownst to the health care practitioner,” said Robert Corona, MD, Welch Allyn’s chief medical officer. “Uncalibrated gauges lend themselves to readings that may be inaccurate, which can have dangerous consequences.”

Welch Allyn has received international recognition for the DuraShock technology, and has been awarded R&D 100 and Medical Design Excellence awards in recent years for medical design and technological significance in the marketplace.

Fluke Launches Instructional Video
Fluke Biomedical (Everett, Wash) has launched its instructional video on its Web site. The video features the innovative Halcyon™ Cantilever Board™, which is designed for head and neck intensity-modulated radiation therapy cancer treatment.

 “[Customers] now have a chance to see one of our premier patient-positioning products in action on our Web site,” said Ken Freeman, oncology product line manager for Fluke. “The new Halcyon Cantilever Board’s unique design allows for a full 360-degree treatment with minimal attenuation. The fully adjustable carbon-fiber Halcyon talon shoulder-depression system is uniquely designed to increase setup repeatability and reduce patient motion without requiring a large sheet of thermoplastic covering the shoulders.”

 Avnet Introduces New Healthcare Practice
Avnet Technology Solutions (Phoenix, Ariz) has announced a consolidated health care practice that will provide resources from a variety of companies to small- and medium-sized health care organizations.

Hospitals, outpatient diagnostic and imaging centers, and managed-care organizations are expected to benefit from working with a team of Avnet partners that understands health care technology and mission-critical requirements for advanced diagnosis, storage, and information-management systems.

The company says the new Avnet health care practice will provide medical information technology (IT) professionals with a complete source for integrated technology solutions and services, including hardware, software, installation, and support services. The value-added resellers, independent software vendors, and systems builders working with Avnet can help IT managers navigate the myriad hardware, software, and service vendor offerings focused on diagnosis and imaging, system infrastructure, storage, information lifecycle management, compliance and regulatory issues, and the protection of patient records. Avnet and its partners will also provide proactive IT management resources, such as current IT environment assessments that help organizations plan for growth and maximize the productivity of existing systems through consolidation.

Medweb Introduces Mobile OR PACS Workstation
Medweb (San Francisco) has introduced its first Mobile OR Gateway and Workstation with a DICOM digital video recorder (DVR), providing a fully integrated DICOM acquisition and viewing application in a mobile, compact, rugged unit. The Medweb Mobile OR Gateway and Workstation was launched at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 2005 show in Chicago.

 The mobile, compact unit has a fully Web-based setup that allows remote access to the OR Gateway from multiple imaging devices.

As the ultimate in operating room (OR) picture archiving and communication system (PACS) solutions, it consists of a small, lightweight, diskless OR PACS workstation on a steel, ergonomically designed cart that allows for easy retrieval and display of images from the OR Gateway, or from any PACS system. The mobile cart has a pneumatic arm that allows the user to easily position displays to the most convenient height during a patient procedure. The diskless workstation uses state-of-the-art gigabite networking to eliminate the unreliability of mounting a disk-based PC on the device, thereby making it easy and reliable to move from OR to OR between cases without the risk of corrupting the server with multiple reboots.

The workstation features a DICOM DVR, adding the ability to capture analog streaming video from DICOM or non-DICOM devices and immediately convert them to DICOM at rates exceeding 30 frames per second at 1k x 1k resolutions. It can accommodate typical color or grayscale streaming video from high-resolution fluoroscopy, C-Arm, or cardiac ultrasound units, and can capture and convert still images as well. The diskless capture interface communicates with the OR Gateway over standard gigabit Ethernet.

A fully Web-based setup allows remote access to the OR Gateway from multiple imaging devices that may be located in multiple OR suites. The completely mobile unit is equipped with a 12-hour battery and can use wireless 802.11 networking, with complete encryption.

The server adds MPPS, SC, and IAN, MWL, and QR classes to devices that may only have support for modality worklist and DICOM store and print.

GE Healthcare and MobileAccess Networks Join Forces
GE Healthcare has announced its exclusive, worldwide agreement with MobileAccess Networks (Vienna, Va) to create the GE Enterprise Access solution, designed to help hospitals roll out all of their critical wireless services on a common infrastructure. With the combined strength of MobileAccess technology and GE’s broad portfolio of wireless clinical products, services and consulting, a comprehensive hospital-wide wireless solution is now a reality, according to GE.

 Wireless technology combined with critical wireless applications give health care facilities improved communication.

At the core of the GE Enterprise Access solution, the MobileAccess Universal Wireless Network will provide seamless wireless coverage throughout health care facilities while simultaneously delivering a broad range of wireless technologies—including cellular, wireless fidelity, paging, and public-safety radio—over a common infrastructure. The two companies will continue to collaborate on enhancements to the GE Enterprise Access solution to deliver next-generation wireless offerings for hospitals, including support for the Wireless Medical Telemetry Service.

With this new solution, hospitals will no longer need to install parallel, stand-alone infrastructures to support their clinical workflows. Instead, hospitals can deploy a highly adaptive wireless solution that enables medical teams to deliver increased clinical and IT productivity through improved communication across the entire campus.

“Communication and continuous coverage is the lifeblood of any hospital,” explained David Ataide, vice president and general manager of GE Healthcare Monitoring Solutions. “By combining the MobileAccess Universal Wireless Network with GE’s wireless-enabled solutions, like the wireless Dash® portable monitor, and other mission-critical wireless applications, hospitals can feel confident that their investment in wireless technology ensures improved communication.”

The GE Enterprise Access solution is expected to adapt to changing conditions and accommodate new wireless applications. The MobileAccess Wire-it-Once™ technology enables hospitals to cost-efficiently add wireless applications and services without disturbing hospital spaces or disrupting existing services. The solution provides hospitals with a platform that permits future services, reduces maintenance and upgrade costs, and ensures hospital-quality reliability and uptime.

 ARAMARK Healthcare Launches Resource Web Site
ARAMARK Healthcare (Philadelphia), a provider of food and facilities-management services to health care institutions, has launched a new Web site. The primary function of the Web site (www.aramarkhealthcare.com) is to provide health care industry information, tools, and resources to help hospital administrators evaluate and leverage the impact that nonclinical services can have on clinical care.

Users will be able to view white papers, newsletters, industry presentations, and select research geared to ARAMARK Healthcare’s views on key health care trends. Job hunters can explore open positions with the company and learn about career-path options. A press room is also available for media members who are interested in learning more about the company. Additionally, information that explains ARAMARKS’s core services in the health care and senior living services area is provided.

“ARAMARK Healthcare believes that a strong connection exists between the effective delivery of nonclinical services, such as food and facility services, and clinical services, and the overall patient-care process,” said John Babiarz, president of ARAMARK Healthcare. “From improving the satisfaction of nurses and physicians by making their jobs easier, to bettering the healing atmosphere by addressing environmental issues such as noise reduction, to providing compassionate, hospitality-focused patient services, we understand how nonclinical services impact the patient-care environment. Our new Web site is designed to share our philosophy and learning with our hospital partners, and those who are interested in ARAMARK Healthcare.” 24×7