Business News – October 2008

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GE Healthcare, Varian to collaborate on MRI system

GE Healthcare and Varian, Inc. will be collaborating to develop a new pre-clinical 7T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging system. Under the agreement, initial development and integration will be a joint effort between the two companies. Once development is complete, Varian will offer customers a fully integrated 7T System combining GE Healthcare’s state of the art electronics, user interface, pulse-sequences and applications with the magnet, gradients, positioning devices and RF coils provided by Varian.

Pre-clinical magnetic resonance imaging is a versatile and non-invasive method to investigate anatomy, metabolism, and physiology in research models. It has a broad range of applications in soft tissues, including brain and organ imaging, tumor assessment, disease progression, and functional imaging. In research, other potential applications include investigation of new contrast mechanisms and agents, monitoring gene expression, analysis of protein interactions, and determination of pharmacokinetics. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging is a closely related technique, used to measure the concentrations of specific molecules in the body, enabling direct measurement of neurotransmitters in the brain or metabolites in muscle.

“We feel this system is an ideal addition to our existing pre-clinical MRI product line,” said Martin O’Donoghue, Vice President, Scientific Instruments, Varian, Inc. “It will appeal to the burgeoning group of researchers who have experience with GE MRI systems. We feel this will give them the pre-clinical MR imaging tool they have been looking for.”

“This promises to be an important advance in pre-clinical MR,” said Jim Mitchell, general manager of Molecular Imaging technologies for GE Healthcare, and the leader for pre-clinical technologies. “We have made an enormous effort to ensure GE Healthcare is the place researchers look first for the most advanced imaging technology for pre-clinical applications. Together with Varian we anticipate being able to expand our preclinical imaging offering which currently includes PET, SPECT, CT scanners as well as dual and tri-modality imaging systems.”

CSC selects InterSystems for trust integration

Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) is to use InterSystems Ensemble for the integration of all new applications it provides to existing trust systems. CSC, the local service provider for the North East and Midlands regions in England’s NHS National Programme for IT, has selected Ensemble as the standard trust integration engine (TIE). The Ensemble TIE will include pre-built and pre-tested interfaces for key trust-based applications.

As a result of the deal, the Ensemble integration platform will be used for integrating new solutions, such as Lorenzo, with existing applications provided by CSC. The TIE will be available to all trusts in NME under the CSC deal. Trusts have the option to expand their use of Ensemble beyond the TIE to address other trust integration requirements. “Proven, comprehensive and extensible integration is vital to the success of the NPfIT programme,” said Mike Dyer, CSC’s NHS chief technology officer. “Our new TIE initiative directly addresses the need to achieve a single view of a patient record and keep disparate systems synchronised.”

NHS Yorkshire and the Humber is one of the first strategic health authorities to use Ensemble under the contract. InterSystems Ensemble had been successfully implemented at a number of NHS sites including Barts and The London NHS Trust, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Plymouth ICT Shared Services, Peterborough Hospitals NHS Trust, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, Bolto

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