Alliance veteran hits the road again by founding mobile PET venture

July 7, 1999

Acclaim Medical set to begin PET service in AugustYet another mobile PET operator will soon be traversing the freeways of southern California. The new arrival is Acclaim Medical, a start-up company founded by a former Alliance Imaging executive to

Acclaim Medical set to begin PET service in August

Yet another mobile PET operator will soon be traversing the freeways of southern California. The new arrival is Acclaim Medical, a start-up company founded by a former Alliance Imaging executive to provide mobile PET services. The Newport Beach, CA, company made its nuclear medicine debut with an exhibit at last month’s Society of Nuclear Medicine meeting in Los Angeles.

Acclaim was started in January by Robert Waley-Cohen, who co-founded Alliance in 1983. The company has purchased its first PET camera, a Siemens ECAT Exact system, and delivery is expected this month, according to Steve Vandecar, director of sales. The camera will be sited in a 42-foot mobile trailer provided by Calumet Coach of Calumet City, IL, and Acclaim is in discussions with Alliance about having drivers from that company operate the mobiles. Acclaim has already signed contracts to provide PET services in southern California, beginning about Aug. 1.

The company plans to buy new PET cameras and expand into other areas of the country as it signs new contracts, Vandecar said. The company’s expansion is limited only by the availability of FDG, and it is in the process of forming relationships with FDG suppliers, such as P.E.T.Net Pharmaceutical Services of Norcross, GA, to supply the radiopharmaceutical. Acclaim believes it will purchase at least one and possibly two more PET scanners by the end of 1999.

Acclaim is the second mobile PET provider to arrive on the scene this year. The first, Mobile PET Systems of San Diego, was launched earlier this year and is also set to begin service this summer (SCAN 2/3/99). Both firms see the PET market as promising for several reasons. Due to the novelty and expense of the technology, few hospitals can afford to dive into PET by purchasing their own scanner. But many facilities want to get involved in PET because of the brightening reimbursement situation for the modality, with Medicare paying $1980 for some PET scans.

But is the PET market mature enough to support two mobile providers in the same region? Like Acclaim, Mobile PET’s first route is in the southern California region. Despite the overlap, Acclaim believes that PET’s future is bright enough to support multiple operations.

“It’s challenging right now to have one area with two strong competitors, but I think over time that there is a lot of room for PET to bloom,” Vandecar said. “We’re confident that there will be enough success to go around.”