Mallinckrodt Acquires Life Design Systems
Mallinckrodt, St Louis, has recently acquired Life Design Systems Inc (LDS), a Dallas-based developer and manufacturer of a line of resuscitation bags and related accessories.
Under the terms of the contract, Mallinckrodt purchased all outstanding LDS stock as well as all related intellectual property, free of debt, for $3.5 million cash. Mallinckrodt will assume the existing lease on the LDS facility in Dallas, with the intention of relocating production to a Mallinckrodt site within the remaining 18 months of the lease.
“The addition of Life Design Systems’ Capno-Flo line of products will solidify Mallinckrodt’s position in this product category, giving us a broad line of superior products to both the emergency medical services (EMS) and hospital markets,” said John Q. Hesemann, president of Mallinckrodt’s Respiratory Group.
LDS produces four sizes of resuscitation bags with carbon dioxide detection capability, a feature that Hesemann believes could become the standard of care when providing manually assisted ventilation. LDS resuscitation bags range in size from 1-liter capacity for adult use to 125-cc capacity for infant care.

Community Health Systems Standardizes Critical Care Testing with AVL
AVL Medical Instruments, Roswell, Ga, has been selected by Community Health Systems (CHS), Brentwood, Tenn, to be its sole source provider of blood gas instrumentation and related information management services for its 44-hospital network.
“We are pleased that CHS chose AVL as a corporate partner,” said Alfred Marek, president and CEO of AVL. “AVL offers blood gas and data management systems which provide solutions for the main laboratory and point-of-care settings. This is important for large integrated systems like CHS, where the needs of each individual hospital might be quite different.”
The AVL products selected by CHS include the AVL OMNIT Modular Analyzer with AutoQCr, the AVL OPTIT Critical Care Analyzer, and the DatacareABGT Data Management System.

Datex-Ohmeda to Market and Distribute Oridion’s Handheld Capnograph
Oridion Medical, Danville, Calif, has agreed to allow Datex-Ohmeda, Louisville, Colo, to market and distribute its handheld capnograph–the QuickCapT–to all US markets.
“Our handheld capnograph has proved itself an effective monitoring tool for clinicians in many international markets,” said George Yariv, CEO of Oridion Medical. “We are confident that Datex-Ohmeda will expand on our success as they introduce QuickCap to clinical sites in the US.”
The QuickCap handheld capnograph is engineered with Oridion Medical’s innovative MicrostreamT CO2 measuring technology, which results in highly accurate and reliable monitoring for all types of patients and clinical environments. The product is also completely compatible with Oridion Medical’s broad array of FilterlineT circuits and accessories, enabling it to monitor both intubated and nonintubated patients, from neonates to adults. QuickCap continuously monitors end-tidal CO2 and respiratory rate,providing digital values along with crisp capnographic waveforms and trends.
“We are excited about the opportunity to provide our customers with handheld capnography that offers the versatility and technical sophistication of Microstream technology. The QuickCap is an excellent addition to our family of patient monitors and is well suited to our existing distribution channels,” said Derek Smith, vice president/general manager of Datex-Ohmeda’s Configured Monitors Business Unit.

Invacare Receives FDA Clearance for CPAP System
Invacare Corp, Elyria, Ohio, has received 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Invacarer PolarisT, the first continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) system designed and manufactured by Invacare.
The Invacare Polaris features an innovative design that makes patient setup and monitoring easy. The system simplifies patient acceptance with one-button operation, low noise level, reliable performance, and a patient-activated ramp. It is specifically designed to provide years of trouble-free, reliable operation. The Invacare Polaris features a built-in tubing holder to allow for easy mask storage when the device is not in use. It also features a washable, easy-to-change filter to keep care maintenance to a minimum.
“The sleep therapy market is an important area that Invacare has targeted for growth. That is why Invacare has made a commitment to accelerate our research and development efforts in this area.” said A. Malachi Mixon III, chairman and CEO of Invacare. “The introduction of the Invacare Polaris is the culmination of this accelerated R&D effort and further strengthens our industry leadership position as the manufacturer and distributor of the broadest line of health care products for the non-acute care market.”

Novation Signs New Agreement with Nicolet Biomedical
Novation, the supply company of VHA Inc, both based in Irving, Tex, and the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), Oak Brook, Ill, has enhanced a previous agreement between UHC and Nicolet Biomedical by signing a new 2-year contract for neurodiagnostic equipment.
The contract provides VHA and UHC members with increased savings based on commitment to the agreement, and firm pricing through December 31, 2000. This agreement offers at least $500,000 in cost savings over the term of the agreement.
The new agreement also extends to organizations that purchase supplies through HealthCare Purchasing Partners International LCC, a group purchasing organization that markets Novation contracts to organizations that do not belong to VHA or UHC.
“We recognize that the coming together of two world-class organizations who share the common goal of maximizing value through quality products and services from a single provider is the foundation for an effective partnership between Novation and Nicolet Biomedical,” said Gerald Brew, president of Nicolet Biomedical. “Nicolet’s continued investment in innovative technologies that provide total solutions for our customers in neurodiagnostics and monitoring ultimately benefits our mutual objective for improved patient outcomes.”

GE Marquette and Draeger Medical Group Sign Agreement to Form Global Alliance
Draeger Medical Group, Lubeck, Germany, and GE Marquette Medical Systems, Milwaukee, Wis, have signed an agreement of global alliance to develop, distribute, and service medical devices used in acute care areas of hospitals.
The agreement allows both companies to provide medical systems, including devices for clinical diagnostics, clinical data management, anesthesia, and respiratory care.
“Together, our best-of-class products can create a world-class suite of technology for operating rooms and intensive care units” said Fred Robertson, MD, president and CEO of GE Marquette. “Our respective strengths–Draeger’s excellence in anesthesia and respiratory care, and GE Marquette’s excellence in patient monitoring–allow us a unique opportunity to create value for health care providers around the world, and ultimately improve the availability of information used to care for patients every day.”
“We are enthusiastic about working with GE Marquette to create workplace solutions in the areas of anesthesia, intensive care, and neonatal medicine,” said Frank Rochlitzer, president and CEO of Draeger Medical Group. “Our goal is to support health care providers’ ability to improve efficiencies in patient monitoring through integrated systems and processes. I am confident that this new global alliance will further expand our ability to serve health care providers in today’s highly competitively, technology intensive health care marketplace.”

Radiometer Awarded MAGNET Contract
The group purchasing organization MAGNET has announced that it has chosen Radiometer as its supplier of blood gas systems, all related supplies and accessories, blood collection products, and trans-cutaneous monitors for the next 2 years.
MAGNET was founded in 1979 and is one of the oldest and largest group purchasing organizations in the United States. Through its member groups, MAGNET serves more than 900 acute care hospitals representing 275,000 beds primarily in the northeastern part of the country. This is approximately 15 percent of all hospitals in the United States.
The new contract expands the previous SenDx contract and provides opportunity for Radiometer to increase its market share in hospitals served by MAGNET affiliates.

Hewlett-Packard Announces Two New Companies
President and chief executive officer Lewis E. Platt of the Hewlett-Packard Co, Palo Alto, Calif, recently announced plans for a strategic realignment of Hewlett-Packard that will create two independent companies: a new measurement company and a new computing and imaging company.
The new measurement company will comprise Hewlett-Packard’s industry-leading test-and-measurement, components, chemical-analysis, and medical businesses. With leading positions in multiple market segments, this technology-based company will be focused on high-growth opportunities such as communications and life sciences. A name has not yet been selected for the new measurement company.
The new computing and imaging company will continue to operate under the Hewlett-Packard name and will include all of HP’s enterprise computing systems, software and services, personal computer, and printing and imaging solutions businesses. These businesses will operate more autonomously and will adapt quickly to changing market needs.

The Health Channel
GE Medical Systems and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, launched the first and only 24-hour satellite programming service called The Health ChannelT.
The Health Channel provides a new, cost-effective option for physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals to complete the continuing education credits required to maintain their practice licenses. Health Channel programs are geared toward accommodating the various day and night schedules of these practitioners, and new programming is offered every week.
Health Channel is directed by Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, and is available through GE Medical Systems’ TiP-TVT satellite broadcast network.

Sepracor Introduces New Asthma Drug, Xopenex
Sepracor, Marlborough, Mass, recently introduced Xopenex, a new FDA approved treatment for patients with asthma
The DURA-NEB compressor and PARI LC PLUS Reusable Nebulizer were chosen as the aerosol delivery devices for the Xopenex Phase III, double-blind clinical study. The PARI nebulizer and compressor were the only delivery devices used in the approved US clinical trials that demonstrated Xopenex’s excellent safety, efficacy, and duration of action.
Xopenex (levalbuterol) is an HCI inhalation solution used for treatment and prevention of bronchospasm. The new formulation is important for the treatment of asthma because patients in the study generally reported a lower incidence and severity of common beta-mediated side effects, such as nervousness and tremor.

Respironics Increases Stock Buy-back Authorization
Respironics Inc, Pittsburgh, has announced that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of an additional 1 million shares of the company’s common stock.
“Because of the surprisingly low valuation of our stock, we believe it is an excellent investment opportunity for the company,” said Dennis S. Meteny, president and CEO of Respironics. “I believe that current stock prices do not reflect the long-term opportunity and value of our company. All Respironics’ associates are committed to achieving our financial goals and increasing shareholder value.”
The company has already purchased approximately 1,890,000 shares under previous authorizations of 2 million shares since the program began in August 1998. The board’s action authorizes purchases in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions. Repurchased common shares will be added to the company’s treasury shares and may be used to meet common stock requirements of employee benefit and stock option plans, and other corporate purposes.

Dale Medical to Manufacture Latex-Free Products
Dale Medical Products, Plainville, Mass, now manufactures only latex-free products due to concerns that have continued to mount regarding the health risks encountered by nurses, physicians, patients, and other health care professionals who come in regular contact with medical products containing latex.
In 1996, Dale Medical informed all of its suppliers that it would no longer manufacture products containing any latex. Every one of Dale’s suppliers was asked to substitute latex-free components on all future orders. Within a few months, the switch to all latex-free products was complete and Dale’s manufacturing process and entire product line ceased to have any latex-bearing materials.

Pulmonox Announces Distribution Agreement with 3Ci
Pulmonox Medical Corporation, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, announces an exclusive US distribution agreement with Critical Care Concepts Inc (3Ci), Norcross, Ga, that covers the complete nitric oxide product line.
This contract is consistent with Pulmonox’s planned growth with new product offerings and aggressive sales, targeting the escalating demand for nitric oxide products.
Pulmonox is a clinically oriented company that is dedicated to nitric oxide research and development. 3Ci is a national organization of highly skilled sales consultants with experience in respiratory therapy products, critical care equipment, and national buying groups.

Spacelabs Burdick Publishes Guidebook for Spirometry Testing
Spacelabs Burdick Inc, Deerfield, Wis, announces the release of the first edition of Office Spirometry: A Better Way. Written in collaboration with Dr Paul Enright, this guidebook provides a straightforward self-study program designed to improve the acquisition and interpretation techniques of anyone who does spirometry testing.
Topics covered in the guidebook include basic airway anatomy, spirometry indications, performing spirometry tests, quality assurance, and interpreting test results. Each section includes diagrams and photos to clarify points and enhance understanding, and is followed by a short quiz to test what the reader has learned.