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Digirad prepares for commercial launch

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San Diego-based Digirad is putting the finishing touches in place for a commercial launch of its solid-state digital gamma camera technology. The firm is taking orders for its lead product, Digirad 2020 TC Imager, and plans to begin commercial shipments

San Diego-based Digirad is putting the finishing touches in place for a commercial launch of its solid-state digital gamma camera technology. The firm is taking orders for its lead product, Digirad 2020 TC Imager, and plans to begin commercial shipments as soon as it completes work on a manufacturing facility to build the cameras.

Digirad received 510(k) clearance last year for 2020 TC Imager, which uses cadmium zinc telluride digital detectors rather than scintillation crystals and photomultiplier tubes (SCAN 6/11/97). Since then, the company has been building a 14,000-square-foot semiconductor fab to manufacture the cameras, according to Karen Klause, president and CEO. Construction of the fab should be finished soon, and 2020 TC Imagers should be shipping some time this year, she said.

At next month’s Society of Nuclear Medicine meeting in Toronto, Digirad plans to display its latest work on conducting SPECT imaging with its camera using a rotating chair. Because 2020 TC Imager’s detector is not housed in a rotating gantry, patients are seated and rotated around the head. Digirad will display cardiac SPECT images collected with the technique, Klause said.

Digirad will also present three papers, the first for the company at a medical conference. One of the papers covers work conducted on scintimammography with Dr. Iraj Khalkhali of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, CA.

Until Digirad is able to start shipping, the company will continue to take orders, which are coming in at a rapid clip from hospitals interested in the firm’s novel technology, Klause said

“We have a long lead time right now (for deliveries) due to the backlog,” Klause said. “Demand has been much greater than we expected.”

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