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Mobile Imaging System Gets FDA Approval – Digirad Imaging on Wheels

Posted Apr 27 2010 1:00pm

We talk about mobility with devices that we used for data input and imaging equipment is also getting that capability.  This is large equipment used with nuclear medicine in hospitals though, not one you carry with you, but rather one on wheels that can be moved around the facility.  The picture shown here is from the site and may not show the exact product approved by the FDA.  image

The company also makes several other products that are “on wheels” used in cardiology and general imaging.  Perhaps as written below, the FDA approval might help the cause with insurance coverage too with images created and treatments designed as a result of using such products.  BD

“The company has faced headwinds as insurance companies sometimes balk at making significant reimbursement payments to hospitals for imaging scans, Leedom said.”

Digirad’s shares gained 16 percent Monday after the Poway company said it received regulatory approval to market a new mobile nuclear imaging camera system aimed at hospitals.

The company’s ergo imaging system offers a larger field of view than its existing portable camera systems, which focus mostly on smaller views of the heart for cardiologists or specific cancer locations for oncologists.

The new solid-state camera can present a 12.5-by-15.5-inch field of view for nuclear imaging.

“You’re looking at the lungs, you’re looking at the chest, you’re looking at gall bladders, those types of procedures,” said Todd Clyde, chief executive of Digirad. “And this is really the first solid-state camera with a head size that large, so it allows you to do a whole array of different procedures.”

What sets Digirad’s imaging systems apart is they’re portable. So patients need not be wheeled from their hospital rooms to be scanned by stationary equipment.

image

Digirad said it expects to ship the first models of the ergo system in June to some leading medical centers in the United States and abroad. The company doesn’t intend to market the machine as a service to out-of-hospital clinics at this time. It does offer an out-of-hospital scanner service for cardiologists in 38 cities across the country.

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