Swissray signs letter of intent to sell to undisclosed buyer
Swissray International Inc. (Elmsford, N.Y.) on Sept. 24 announced that the company and its major shareholders had entered into a nonbinding letter of intent to sell all of Swissray’s outstanding shares to an undisclosed U.S.-based private equity firm.

According to Swissray, the letter of intent provides for a limited exclusivity period to conduct due diligence, to come to an agreement on the terms of the transaction and to enter into a definitive contract. During this period, the company and the major stockholders are prohibited from contacting or negotiating with other potential buyers.

Rex Harmon, Swissray’s vice president of marketing, said the company also has declined to disclose the length of the exclusivity period. He would only say that Swissray now has a prospective buyer “that isn’t looking for a fast return on investment. They have a lot of capital, they want a long-term investment, and they see Swissray as that.”


INVIVO RESEARCH, DRäGER MEDICAL INK ANESTHESIA DEAL
Invivo Research Inc. in October signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Dräger Medical Inc. (Telford, Pa.), allowing for the sale of Dräger’s Narkomed MRI-2 anesthesia system through Invivo Research’s direct sales force in the United States and distributor network in Canada. Invivo Research Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Invivo Corp. (Pleasanton, Calif.).

The agreement calls for Invivo Research to market Dräger’s Narkomed MRI-2 anesthesia delivery system as Magnitude AS, in combination with Invivo’s own Magnitude MRI patient monitoring product line.

No other details of the agreement were available.

“We are very happy to be affiliated with Invivo Research,” Ruben Derderian, CEO and president of Dräger Medical Inc., said in a statement. “They have been a leader in the MRI patient monitoring industry for a number of years and Dräger Medical Inc. looks forward to a long, rewarding association.”


Sodexho sees ‘best of both worlds’ with Patriot buy
Since the announcement of its acquisition of clinical services provider Patriot Medical Technologies Inc. (Nashville, Tenn.), Sodexho (Gaithersburg, Md.) says plans to operate the new business unit as a separate entity will allow the company to enjoy “the best of both worlds.”

In its Sept. 3 announcement, Sodexho said the new entity will operate as Sodexho Clinical Equipment Services. (See “Sodexho Acquires ISO Patriot Medical Technologies, October 24×7.)

“We philosophically want to keep the clinical equipment services business a fairly independent and separate business,” remarked Tucker Schuldt, Sodexho’s senior vice president for Strategy, Planning and Quality for the Healthcare Services Business. “What I mean by that is, we want the best of both worlds. We want the best of leveraging scale and resources with Sodexho, and we want the entrepreneurial spirit and independence of the former Patriot entity.”


GEMS HEALTHCARE UNVEILS BIOMEDICAL SOFTWARE
GE Medical Systems (GEMS of Waukesha, Wis.) Healthcare Services recently introduced AssetPlus, a software program that enables hospitals to manage healthcare equipment assets across their biomedical, facilities and information technology departments.

Key features of the software include a detailed inventory database with real-time information on equipment status; maintenance history; interactive, real-time communication via the hospital’s intranet that provides the clinical staff with access to inventory, job requests and status; and customized business reports that address Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) requirements.

AssetPlus also integrates with a personal digital assistant (PDA) to provide biomedical engineering personnel immediate access to inventory data, job requests and maintenance history. A built-in bar code reader allows the use of PDAs to document work performed.


 START THEM LAUGHING, LEAVE THEM THINKING
The prestigious 2002 Nobel Prize awards made the headlines the second week of October. A week earlier, however, the ignominious 2002 Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded in ceremonies on the campus of Harvard University – with less aplomb, possibly, but with much more style, undoubtedly. Like so many other award ceremonies, this year’s Ig Nobel presentation had a theme, which claimed to relate to some of the goings-on at the event, though not necessarily to the prize-winning achievements. This year’s theme: Jargon.

According to the Annals of Improbable Research, a science humor magazine that sponsors the awards, the Ig Noble Prize acknowledges actual scientific “achievements that cannot or should not be reproduced.” Winners have done something that first makes people laugh, then makes them think. Recent winners include, for example, John Keoegh of Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia, 2001 Technology Ig Noble, for patenting the wheel in the year 2001 and to the Australian Patent Office for granting him Innovation Patent #2001100012; and Davis Dunning, Cornell University, and Justin Kreuger, University of Illinois, winners of the 2000 Psychology Ig Noble, for their report, “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.” All achievements, by the way, are absolutely and positively genuine; the full award announcement includes references to the winning works.

Despite the fact that years of Ig Noble winners make for a hard act to follow – the awards debuted in 1991 – the 2002 winners proved up to the task. And many of them traveled to Boston, at their own expense, to accept the awards. As Annals editor Marc Abrahams has written: “Some people covet it, others flee from it. Some see it as a hallmark of civilization, others as a scuffmark. Some laugh with it, other laugh at it. Many praise it, a few condemn it, others are just mystified. And many people are madly in love with it.”


STERIS TO SELL, SERVICE DRäGER EM SYSTEMS
Dräger Medical AG & Co., (Lubeck, Germany) and Steris Corp. (Mentor, Ohio) on Oct. 10 announced an alliance giving Steris exclusive rights to sell and service Dräger’s medical equipment management systems in the United States and Canada.

The agreement calls for Dräger Medical to supply key components of its ceiling-mounted, wall-mounted and beam-mounted medical equipment management systems to Steris. Steris will complete final assembly, customize the units, sell the systems to surgical centers and hospitals, and service the equipment.

Medical management systems organize surgical equipment and utility cords in operating rooms and critical care units, keeping various items off the floor and within easy reach of surgeons and other healthcare workers and caregivers.


1,300 ATTEND AFSMI IN ATLANTA
Approximately 1,300 professionals in the technology services and support industry attended the Association for Services Management International’s (AFSMI of Ft. Myers, Fla.) 32nd S-Business Education Summit and Exposition in Atlanta Oct. 6-8.

An AFSMI official indicated that the attendance at this year’s event was “significantly more” than that of last year’s summit. This year’s gathering also saw the presentation of the first President’s Award, honoring individuals for their outstanding managerial and leadership characteristics.

Keynote speakers sparked each day’s activities, beginning with Scott A. Dougall of IBM Global Services and Gregory Reid of Yellow Corp. on Sunday; continuing with Peter van Voorst of Getronics NV and James Alexander of AFSM International on Monday; and concluding with Walter Gasparovic of The Gasparovic Group on Tuesday.


NEXTERNA SIGNS CARL ZEISS
Wireless mobile resource management provider Nexterna Inc. (Omaha, Neb.) recently signed an agreement to provide its Clearview field resource management system to Carl Zeiss Inc. (Thornwood, N.Y.).

Zeiss has signed on for Clearview’s service management application, field Web access and customer Web access. The company expects the system to improve its customer service by giving field technicians Web access to its service management application.

Zeiss markets lines of optical, scientific and industrial instruments.

Currently, Carl Zeiss service technicians record service activities and mail hard copies of their paperwork to a central office. With the Clearview system, technicians will close service orders immediately upon completion using their laptops or any computer or PDA that has an Internet connection. They also will be able to accept new service calls, update inventory levels, order parts and view customer information. Product tracking capabilities include repair history, location and warranty information.


DI to distribute, support Realtimeimage iPACS
Diagnostic Imaging (DI of Jacksonville, Fla.) in October signed on to distribute and support RealTimeImage’s (San Bruno, Calif.) iPACS product line throughout the United States.

A joint statement from the two companies indicated that DI “selected” iPACS (picture archiving and communications system) “in part due to its open architecture and ability to integrate with a wide range of complimentary software.”

RealTimeImage’s iPACS is a Web-based medical image streaming and distribution product that the company says allows immediate access to lossless diagnostic quality images and image sequences over a full range of bandwidths with any preprocessing steps or intermediate storage. iPACS is compatible with a PACS, acting as the existing system’s Internet/intranet gateway, or it performs as a standalone digital workflow product for imaging centers without a PACS.


 RF SAFETY IS FOCUS OF NEW COMPANY
Former radio frequency safety expert Richard Strickland has started RF Safety Solutions, based in South Setauket, N.Y.

A consulting company, RF Safety Solutions addresses concerns regarding human exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation. It provides training, tools and procedures to help companies minimize RF exposure risks, bring RF exposure levels into regulatory compliance, and reduce corporate liability and risk. For some time now, Strickland has been involved in what he called a “pet project”: RF issues and medical device interference.


Olympus, CDM Optics sign licensing agreement
Olympus Optical Co.’s (Melville, N.Y.) new endoscopes will come complete with Wavefront Coding technology from CDM Optics Inc. (Boulder, Colo.) – the result of a recent license agreement between the two parties.

CDM Optics’ proprietary Wavefront Coding will allow imaging with a far greater depth of field than is possible with traditional imaging systems, according to a company statement. It also allows for less expensive optical designs to perform as well as highly corrected optical systems by using fewer elements and permitting the use of either plastic or glass optical elements, the statement said.


CORRECTIONS

The name of Stephens International Recruiting Inc. (Lakeview, Ark.) and surname of owner Cindy Stephens were misspelled in the “Star Search: The Hunt for BMETs” article that appeared in the October issue.

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The e-mail address for BMET Mike Peterson, author of the “lunar effect” article in the October issue, is [email protected].


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