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Cook Women’s Health – Interview with Christina Anné, VP Women’s Health Business Unit

Posted May 27 2009 10:50pm

Today I had the opportunity to talk with Christina Anné, vice president of Cook Medical and global business unit leader for Women’s Health, and Gail McDaniel, Digital Marketing Specialist, about the new educational Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) website, CookARTLab.com. If you were image ever curious about how the IVF process works, the CookARTLab site has multimedia sections that takes you step by step through in vitro fertilization. The videos and information are part of Cook’s efforts to educate and inform by highlighting the process from start to finish with Assisted Reproductive Technology.

We also spoke about other offerings from Cook Medical’s Women’s Health division which you can learn more about at http://www.cookmedical.com/wh/home.do.   

On with the interview:  Here’s a summary of my conversation with Christina

What is the focus of the CookARTLab.com website? 

The CookARTLab.com is an online, educational resource for today’s infertility physicians and reproductive endocrinologists. The main feature of the site is a behind the scenes, interactive tour of a complete IVF procedure starting with Day negative one through to the reimplantation of the fertilized embryo. The Cook A.R.T. Lab tour shows real-world demonstrations of ovum collection, sperm injection, embryo culture and embryo transfer, with guidance on how to perform each step.

The microsite also features a knowledge base with up-to-the minute links to the most current published research; a discussion forum that allows professionals to exchange information and experiences; and a news center posting upcoming industry events and A.R.T. news from around the world.

These assets make the Cook site a one-stop resource on new research and practices for fertility and reproductive specialists.

What makes it different?

We designed the CookARTLab.com to help improve laboratory and clinical performance in the field of assisted reproductive technology (A.R.T.). We felt it was necessary to provide specialists in this field with real-time, interactive access to cutting edge technologies and techniques to assist them in improving their IVF procedures – without regard to time zone, geographic location or day of the week. More and more we see medical professionals turning to the web as a resource to help them improve their skills and add to their knowledge base. This is the first educational site for these people.

Who is the CookARTLab site designed for? Patients? Professionals?

The main audience for this site is A.R.T. professionals including embryologists and reproductive endocrinologists. The content is designed to provide the resources and educational tools they need to do their jobs more effectively. In fact, we had a few of these professionals preview the site and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Many of the people we consulted commented on the accuracy and felt it would be a good resource for their colleagues, especially residents and those who were new to the field of IVF. Secondarily, the professional audience also commented that the video would be most helpful for patients to better understand the IVF process, providing them a behind-the-scenes look they typically would not have.

Now, switching gears let’s talk more generally about Cook Women’s Health.

Can you tell me more about the mission of the overall Women’s Health Division at Cook?

Cook Women's Health is focused on bringing patient-centered innovations to market, developed specifically for the particular health needs of women. Cook Women's Health addresses prevalent issues in women's health globally including infertility, high-risk obstetrics, gynecological imaging and sex and gender-based medicine.

When we speak of products from Cook Medical that are targeted for women’s healthcare, are they expensive and what type of coverage can one expect with insurance?

Most of the products you will see on the site are disposable with the big money expense in the actual procedure.  All our devices are cleared by the FDA and affordable for healthcare facilities to stock. . 

How does Cook Medical market their products for women, direct sales?

We do have direct sales executives and distributors all over the world, with extensive coverage in Europe and the Pacific rim.  CookARTLab.com is going to be another tool we utilize to inform and create more awareness.  As more people use the professional forums, we hope to expand this area further to communicate and collaborate to create effective solutions. 

Are there any offerings as far as regenerative solutions for women?

Yes, Cook Medical is very active in this area and some of our products used for reconstruction are derived from the small intestine of pigs and are often used for procedures in the pelvic and urinary areas of the body, but those are not represented on the CookARTLab.com site. For more information on those solutions you can visit http://www.cookmedical.com/feature.do?id=Biodesign.

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Regenerative technologies can be used to treat a host of conditions, but the Cook Women’s Health application is used most often in treating pelvic organ prolapse a condition that predominately affects older women.  

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Thank you for your time today and information.  I’ll now go visit the CookARTLab site and see for myself.

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After the interview I took the tour myself and it was fascinating, even though I am not anticipating needing or wanting assisted reproductive services myself , it was great to learn about the process and products involved that make everything take place at the ART Lab.  I would suggest watching if you are considering the process to be better informed as to how it all comes together. 

This was the first time I had seen any of the actual lab procedures and it was great to have actual technicians describing each step of the way on how fertility and reproductive technology works.  BD 

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Securing the sperm…Verifying the process and the embryos…

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In addition, on the product page there’s another entire listing of videos.   

PRESS RELEASE:

Interactive Tour of Assisted Reproduction Technology Laboratory Anchors New Online Destination for Infertility and Reproductive Professionals Seeking to Improve Laboratory Practices

One-Stop Educational Microsite Provides Cutting-Edge Resources and Community for Experts in Assisted Reproductive Technologies

Bloomington, Ind. – May 4, 2009 – The industry’s first interactive, behind-the-scenes video takes viewers day-by-day through the techniques and procedures of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) through a new online destination from Cook Medical. CookARTLab is designed to improve laboratory and clinical performance in the field of assisted reproductive technology (A.R.T.).

The Cook A.R.T. Lab tour shows real-world demonstrations of ovum collection, sperm injection, embryo culture and embryo transfer, with guidance on how to optimize each step for improved pregnancy rates. The microsite also features a knowledge base with up-to-the minute links to the most current published research in A.R.T.; a discussion forum that allows professionals to exchange information and experiences; and a news center posting upcoming industry events – making the Cook site a centralized resource on breaking research and best practices for fertility and reproductive specialists.

Describing the new website, Patricia Jilbert, Director of the Center for Reproductive Biology commented, “The lab tour is accurate and provides an in-depth explanation of all aspects of laboratory procedures. While not all the procedures are performed the same way in every lab, this (the tour) does give newcomers to the field a great overview of what is involved (in IVF). I could see the tour being useful in educating residents. Some patients are curious about what happens behind our closed doors so this would be another resource for them to feel they were informed and more comfortable with the IVF process.”

In addition to the industry’s first interactive A.R.T. lab tour, Cook is providing an entire suite of resources to assist infertility and reproduction professionals in gaining the added knowledge and expertise necessary to have a marked impact on patient outcomes. The specific assets found at the first-of-its-kind Cook A.R.T. Lab website include:

· A.R.T. Lab Tour – Provides an expert behind-the-scene look at the entire IVF experience from preparation for ovum aspiration to embryo transfer, featuring Cook’s industry leading A.R.T. products. Translated transcripts of the videos are also available for download in Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Chinese and Japanese as well as English. For a preview click here.

· Knowledge Center Offers a continually updated pipeline and archive of recent publications and resources on all facets of A.R.T. and IVF divided by key subject areas. Topics include: Human ovum collection; sperm preparation and intrauterine insemination; embryo culture and incubation; cryopreservation and vitrification; ICSI and micromanipulation; and embryo transfer.

· Discussion Forum Engages experts, peers and Cook Medical product specialists to exchange A.R.T. knowledge and experience. Multilingual questions, input and discussion are encouraged on all relevant topics and products.

· News and Events Gathers and posts the latest breaking news on IVF, A.R.T. and Cook Medical from across the Internet as well as posting an ongoing channel of upcoming industry events dedicated to advancing the practice of IVF.

· Detailed Product Information Links to cataloged information and resources on the complete line of Cook Medical products for A.R.T. and other women’s health-related applications.

Since its inception more than thirty years ago, IVF has rapidly evolved and significant advancements have been made in the field of assisted reproductive technology (A.R.T.). For more than 25 years, Cook Medical has provided infertility and reproductive specialists with innovative products to meet the needs of each individual patient. Cook’s end-to-end suite of A.R.T. products assists professionals in every step of the IVF process, from early infertility detection through to the embryo transfer. The Cook A.R.T. Lab demonstrates the depth and breadth of the Cook solutions, highlighting how each product in the suite can be used most effectively to optimize the IVF process.

“For over two decades, Cook has remained dedicated to furthering the practice of IVF by providing today’s experts with industry leading products and cutting-edge resources to improve pregnancy rates,” said Christina Anné, Vice President of Cook Medical’s Women’s Health Strategic Business Unit. “With the launch of this microsite, Cook Medical is continuing our commitment to the advancement of IVF by harnessing the dynamic power of the Internet to provide today’s infertility specialists with real-time, access to the resources and information necessary to support patients and improve their practices.”

About Cook Medical

Cook Medical was one of the first companies to help popularize interventional medicine, pioneering many of the devices now commonly used worldwide to perform minimally invasive medical procedures. Today, the company integrates minimally invasive medical device design, biopharma, gene and cell therapy, and biotech to enhance patient safety and improve clinical outcomes in the fields of aortic intervention; interventional cardiology; critical care medicine; gastroenterology; radiology , peripheral vascular, bone access and oncology; surgery and soft tissue repair; urology; and assisted reproductive technology, gynecology and high-risk obstetrics. Founded in 1963 and operated as a family-held private corporation, Cook is a past winner of the prestigious Medical Device Manufacturer of the Year Award from Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry magazine. For more information, visit www.cookmedical.com.

Media Contacts:
Gail McDaniel Shannon Breen

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