Indiana Biomeds Hold Conference, Tour Hospital
A tour of the all-digital cardiac care Indiana Heart Hospital under construction was among the highlights of the Indiana Biomedical Society’s (IBS) 12th annual conference held Jan. 11 in Carmel, Ind.

Union Hospital (Terre Haute, Ind.) BMETs (back-front) Robert Wilkie, David Stepp and Fred Collins talk with Fluke Regional Sales Coordinator Robert Munoz about the company’s products.

The conference, which attracts biomeds from throughout the state, kicked off its activities with keynote presenter John Collins, director of engineering and compliance for the American Society of Healthcare Engineering (ASHE of Chicago). Collins, who had been in charge of clinical engineering for the nine-hospital Advocate Health Care (Oak Brook, Ill.) network before moving to ASHE last year, spoke to “Perspectives of Clinical Engineering,” with examples drawn from his own experiences in various healthcare organizations. He also reminded his audience to consider ASHE a resource in matters of Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS) and cellular phone policies.

Morning and afternoon educational sessions covered such topics as telemetry, oximetry technology, servicing R/F systems and career progression. Attendees also could visit with nearly 50 vendors in the exhibition area throughout the daylong conference.

“It’s the one chance for all of us to get together, to see each other and to see the newest products,” said IBS Vice President Kelly VanDeWalker, a biomed at Community Hospitals (Indianapolis).


Kodak’s Health Imaging forms new Services unit
Eastman Kodak Co.’s (Rochester, N.Y.) Health Imaging Group has created a global organization that the company says will “unify” its customer service and support operations across its medical imaging product lines.

The business unit will be known simply as Services and will be based in Genoa, Italy. The division is led by Marco Bucci, who most recently served as the general manager of Health Imaging’s service organization for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia.

The Services organization will provide equipment service for Kodak products, including computed radiography (CR) and digital radiography (DR) systems, picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) and laser imagers. Services also will provide technical support for Kodak software products and systems, including remote and on-site support, software program updates and/or upgrades and remote application support.


GE Medical Systems Acquires Ambassador
GE Medical Systems (GEMS of Waukesha, Wis.) in January acquired preowned ultrasound equipment supplier Ambassador Medical Inc. (Carmel, Ind.). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Initial reports from GEMS said that the company plans to establish a Center of Excellence for refurbished ultrasound equipment at Ambassador’s facility in Carmel. Approximately 40 Ambassador employees are employed at that location.

“The demand for preowned equipment has seen tremendous growth in the last several years as a result of cost-containment issues and a growing number of private practice physicians offering ultrasound imaging services to their patients,” Omar Ishrak, vice president and general manager of GE’s Global Ultrasound business, said in a prepared statement. “The inclusion of Ambassador Medical will provide our customers with additional options in managing the life cycle of their ultrasound systems.”


Sonora, Medrad Enter into Agreement
Sonora Medical Systems (Longmont, Colo.) and Medrad Inc. (Indianola, Pa.) in January announced an agreement intended to enhance and expand ultrasound transducer repair and replacement capabilities at both companies.

The agreement involves Sonora’s facility in Longmont and Medrad’s Heilman Center facility in Pittsburgh. While no other details of the agreement were made public, the companies said they consider the arrangement an opportunity to offer hospitals alternatives to replacing and repairing damaged or obsolete probes, thus enabling healthcare organizations to extend equipment life cycles and reduce ongoing maintenance costs.


EU to Rule on Siemens, Drägerwerk Venture
The European Union (EU) Commission was expected to decide Jan. 21 whether to approve or to deepen its probe of the joint venture between Siemens Medical Solutions (Erlangen, Germany) and Drägerwerk AG (Lübeck, Germany).

The venture, as currently designed, calls for Siemens to hold a 35 percent stake in Dräger Medical AG & Co. KgaA in turn for Siemens’ contribution of its Electromedical Systems division. (See “Dräger Medical, Siemens Enter into Joint Venture,” July 2002 24×7 Browser.)

According to the Dow Jones Business News, the EU can give the deal the green light or subject it to a four-month review.


Richardson Picks Up Planar Distributorship
Richardson Electronics Ltd. (LaFox, Ill.) recently was named an authorized distributor for Planar Systems (Portland, Ore.) products in North America and Europe.

The arrangement expands Richardson’s line of medical LCD display offerings to include Planar’s VitalScreen and Invitium families of medically certified monitors and point-of-care workstations. The VitalScreen flat-panel displays are designed for operating rooms, trauma units and patient monitoring. The Invitium workstation, consisting of a display with an integrated single-board computer, is suitable for hospital areas with space constraints.


 Keiser New President of Mediq/PRN Life Support Services
J. Barrie Keiser (left) recently was named president of Mediq/PRN Life Support Services (Pennsauken, N.J.).

In his new position, Keiser will be responsible for movable medical equipment rentals and operations, biomedical sales and service, specialty distribution and disposable products sales. He reports to company CEO Regis Farrell.

Keiser brings 20 years of healthcare experience to the position, having held several management roles at such companies as Baxter International, Allegiance Healthcare and Promedix Inc.


ISS Expands its Reach with Infrastructure Services Buy
International Shared Services Inc. (ISS of Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) on Jan. 2 purchased Infrastructure Services Division (Langhorne, Pa.) from parent company Condor Technology Solutions Inc. (Baltimore, Md.). Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
The acquisition will allow ISS to expand its clinical engineering and computer services into Philadelphia and also New Jersey, territories currently serviced by Infrastructure Services Division, formerly Computer Hardware Maintenance Co. (CHMC).

Infrastructure Services Division has 118 employees specializing in network design, on-site service and repair, help-desk services, and hardware and software procurement.


CDRH director to speak at AAMI/FDA conference on medical device standards
The director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) will be the featured guest at a luncheon presentation as part of the 13th Annual Association of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)/FDA International Conference on Medical Device Standards and Regulation, March 11-12, at the Wyndham in Washington, D.C.

CDRH Director David Feigal Jr., M.D., will conduct a special presentation at the March 11 luncheon.

The March 12 luncheon presentation will be delivered by Geetha Rao, Ph.D. She will address the legal risks and implication of the standards development process and AAMI’s response to that issue.


Welch Allyn, Mortara Instrument Sign Licensing Agreement
Welch Allyn Monitoring (Beaverton, Ore.) and Mortara Instrument (Milwaukee) recently signed an agreement that provides Welch Allyn Monitoring access to Mortara Instrument’s Veritas cardiology technology.

The agreement allows for the integration of Mortara’s Veritas ECG signal processing algorithms into Welch Allyn Monitoring’s Acuity Central Monitoring Station. Both Mortara’s arrhythmia analysis algorithm and ST analysis algorithm will be included in the new software release.


Entela Now Offers Medical Device Testing
Engineering and testing laboratories Entela Inc. (Grand Rapids, Mich.) recently announced the addition of testing capabilities for the medical device industry to its repertoire.

Entela’s Grand Rapids, Boston and Canada offices now offer the following:
• FDA 510(k) accredited reviews for medical devices;
• testing to the European Union medical device directive;
• CB Scheme test reports and certificates;
• EMC emissions/immunity;
• CE marking; and
• testing to Health Canada medical devices regulations.

The company’s Web site is www.entela.com.


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