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Feinfocus drops healthcare plans

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Just months after it made its RSNA debut, Garbsen, Germany-based industrial x-ray developer feinfocus Medizintechnik has decided to cease its healthcare device development efforts. The company attributed its decision in part to the difficulty U.S. firms,

Just months after it made its RSNA debut, Garbsen, Germany-based industrial x-ray developer feinfocus Medizintechnik has decided to cease its healthcare device development efforts. The company attributed its decision in part to the difficulty U.S. firms, such as Trex Medical, have encountered in obtaining clearance for digital mammography units from the Food and Drug Administration (SCAN 8/18/99).

The company had evaluated the medical market and concluded that its high-resolution x-ray technology could contribute to the industry. At the 1998 RSNA show, feinfocus displayed its work-in-progress DIMA (direct magnification) Plus M12 Mammography System, an upright full-field digital mammography unit with a 16 x 12-inch amorphous silicon detector. Feinfocus planned to begin its clinical investigations with the unit by installing a DIMA Plus M12 unit in 1999 (SCAN Special Report 1/99).

But since the November meeting, feinfocus’ shareholders have decided to sell the company’s medical business and concentrate on its primary concern, the production and sale of microfocus x-ray systems for the inspection of electronic devices, semiconductors, aircraft, automobiles, and castings. With cost cuts in the German healthcare sector, and the obstacles that face vendors seeking FDA clearance, feinfocus believes that developing digital mammography systems would require more resources than the 70-employee firm has at its disposal, according to Friedhelm Maur, marketing and sales director. Feinfocus may continue to develop and sell its x-ray tube for medical applications, but will not produce and market a complete system.

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