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ADAC to launch PET camera line at SNM conference in Toronto


Company snatched rights to UGM camera from GENuclear medicine vendor ADAC Laboratories plans to use next month’s Society of Nuclear Medicine meeting in Toronto as a launching pad for its foray into the dedicated PET market. ADAC on June 1

Company snatched rights to UGM camera from GE

Nuclear medicine vendor ADAC Laboratories plans to use next month’s Society of Nuclear Medicine meeting in Toronto as a launching pad for its foray into the dedicated PET market. ADAC on June 1 gains rights to market a PET camera developed by UGM Medical Systems of Philadelphia under an agreement signed between the companies last year (SCAN 12/17/97).

ADAC is keeping its strategy for the UGM camera under wraps until the SNM show, according to Mohamed Elmandjra, vice president of marketing for the Milpitas, CA, company. Elmandjra declined to release the list price or product name for its version of the camera, although he did say that ADAC has made some enhancements to the product in preparation for a market launch.

UGM’s camera was formerly sold by GE Medical Systems of Milwaukee under the Quest brand name. The camera features a lower price point than other PET cameras, in large measure due to its use of sodium iodide rather than BGO as a crystal material. GE for a time last year sold Quest for $800,000 as part of a special PET promotion.

ADAC’s pursuit of the UGM camera came as a surprise to some nuclear medicine market watchers, as the company has been a strong proponent of coincidence detection high-energy imaging with gamma cameras, which it calls Molecular Coincidence Detection. ADAC believes that PET and coincidence detection are complementary rather than competitive, Elmandjra said.

“We fundamentally believe that MCD and PET are not competitive modalities, but they are alternatives to doing functional FDG imaging,” he said. “Depending on what the applications are, there is room for both, so we’d like to offer a complete solution.”

ADAC appears to be entering the PET market at a fortuitous time. The Health Care Financing Administration in December announced that it would begin reimbursement for FDG lung studies, a move widely seen as a boon for the long-suffering U.S. PET market (SCAN 1/14/98). HCFA has yet to publish reimbursement rates for PET studies, however, leaving practitioners in a sort of limbo.

In other SNM show developments, ADAC will be showing results from clinical sites that are using the company’s MCD/Attenuation Correction package, which is designed to remove artifacts from MCD images. ADAC began shipping MCD/AC in the last quarter.

On the software side, the SNM meeting will mark the commercial roll-out of Shadow, an image viewing software package designed to enable clinicians on a hospital LAN to access images stored on ADAC’s Pegasys nuclear medicine workstation. With Shadow, remotely located physicians can use their own computers via an Ethernet connection to emulate functions that can performed on Pegasys, such as data manipulation and complex image processing applications.

Shadow is a complement to WebView, which was displayed at last year’s Radiological Society of North America meeting. WebView is designed as a PC-based method for allowing physicians to view images from their homes or offices; it does not have the powerful image processing capabilities of Shadow.

ADAC will also highlight two new cardiac quantification packages, Elmandjra said. AutoQuant is a software package developed by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for processing cardiac studies, such as quantitative gated SPECT analysis. The calculations in the software have been validated by Cedars-Sinai, and provide users with the ability to conduct automated calculations.

Also new is CardiaQ, a quantitative cardiac package developed at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. While the calculations in CardiaQ have not been as extensively validated as those in AutoQuant, the package is somewhat more flexible than the Cedars-Sinai software, giving users more leeway in defining their own databases. Both AutoQuant and CardiaQ will be offered as options on Pegasys.

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