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Acoustic Imaging to merge with Dornier

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Ultrasound vendor Acoustic Imaging of Phoenix will use the RSNAconference to unveil its plan to consolidate with parent DornierMedical Systems. The Acoustic Imaging name will be retired nextyear and AI will operate under the Dornier Medical Systems

Ultrasound vendor Acoustic Imaging of Phoenix will use the RSNAconference to unveil its plan to consolidate with parent DornierMedical Systems. The Acoustic Imaging name will be retired nextyear and AI will operate under the Dornier Medical Systems label.AI will remain in its Phoenix headquarters, although administrativefunctions will be located in Dornier's Atlanta headquarters. AIdoes not expect major personnel reductions.

Dornier bought a controlling interest in Acoustic Imaging in1989 and gradually increased its position in AI over the years.AI earlier this year unveiled a new corporate logo that emphasizedits connections to Dornier (SCAN 4/12/95).

The two companies have decided to establish closer ties in responseto the contraction of the U.S. ultrasound industry, which hasmade it increasingly difficult for an independent ultrasound vendorlike Acoustic Imaging to go it alone, according to Steven Kaska,director of worldwide strategic marketing.

The newly integrated company will position itself as a manufacturerof image-guided therapy systems developed by combining the productsof Acoustic Imaging and Dornier. Dornier makes therapy deliverysystems such as lithotripsy systems and therapeutic urology tables.In addition to ultrasound scanners, AI can leverage its experiencein transducer manufacturing to build small, high-frequency probesto be used with Dornier's therapy systems.

The integration of AI and Dornier should finally put to restrumors that Dornier is looking to sell off the Phoenix company.Most recently, industry scuttlebutt hinted that Lorad parent ThermoTrexCorp. was interested in an acquisition, but both companies deniedthe gossip (SCAN 7/19/95).

In addition to the merger with Dornier, Acoustic Imaging willhighlight the latest clinical research being conducted with aprototype scanner using the maximum-entropy method algorithm (MEM).MEM is a non-Doppler algorithm for detecting blood flow. AI hadoriginally intended a MEM scanner to be its first color-flow Doppleroffering, but was forced to postpone its plans when research onthe system took longer than expected (SCAN 4/21/93).

Despite the delay, AI never abandoned MEM research, accordingto Kaska. Several papers will be presented at this year's RSNAmeeting on the use of a prototype MEM scanner in breast imaging.Some leading work in MEM breast imaging is being conducted byDr. Christof Sohn of the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

Kaska emphasized that AI will not be introducing a MEM productat the meeting.

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