Siemens launches prone biopsy system

November 27, 2006

Siemens Medical Solutions has launched its newly acquired MammoTest breast biopsy table at the RSNA meeting. Rights to the system were acquired by Siemens this summer from now-defunct Fischer Imaging in a deal brokered by the Federal Trade Commission. Managers in every country should be well versed on the prone stereotactic biopsy unit and ready to begin selling it globally, said Erica Rouleau, national sales director for women’s health at Siemens.

Siemens Medical Solutions has launched its newly acquired MammoTest breast biopsy table at the RSNA meeting. Rights to the system were acquired by Siemens this summer from now-defunct Fischer Imaging in a deal brokered by the Federal Trade Commission. Managers in every country should be well versed on the prone stereotactic biopsy unit and ready to begin selling it globally, said Erica Rouleau, national sales director for women's health at Siemens.

"The RSNA meeting is a great time to launch this product because of the strong U.S. presence and because Siemens historically has had a nice attendance from its global customer base," she said.

Newly minted systems will begin rolling off the Siemens assembly line in Germany to pilot sites around December or January, according to Rouleau, who plans to leverage the availability of this system with promotions that bundle it with the company's other mammography products.

The German company offers a range of screening and diagnostic mammography products, both digital and analog. Among them is Opdima, an upright stereotactic digital spot system. MammoTest, a prone unit, offers another option.

"It is definitely a different approach from what we have had," she said. "With MammoTest, we have a full breadth of offerings."

The system is virtually indistinguishable from the ones previously manufactured and installed by Fischer. The biggest change may be the Siemens brand on the product.

Lack of time prevented the company from making more significant changes. As the RSNA meeting opened, only a few months had passed since Siemens purchased the intellectual property to MammoTest, a move made possible when the FTC decided that the initial purchase of IP by Hologic would give the women's health specialist too much power in the marketplace.

Over the next year or so, however, Siemens plans to migrate its syngo software platform to the product, giving it the look and feel of firm's other products. The name MammoTest will be maintained for the time being.

"There is a lot of goodwill in that name," Rouleau said. "But over the long term, this will be discussed, as we might want to change the name to bring it into the scope of our product line."

In the meantime, Siemens will try to establish itself as a provider of the product, calling on the installed base of MammoTest users to gauge interest in upgrades, as well as service. Whether Siemens will perform the maintenance or outsource the work to a partner has yet to be resolved, she said.