Panasonic's DVD-RAM drive to enhance Bio-logic's electro-diagnostic systems

Milpitas 12 January 2000Bio-logic Systems, a pioneer in advancing computerised electro-diagnostic technology, has integrated Panasonic's 5.2 Gb DVD-RAM drive into two of its modular sensory and neurological testing devices. Key benefits of combining the Bio-logic systems with the DVD-RAM drive come down to providing medical professionals with a reliable, low-cost means of storing test results digitally so they can be easily accessed and shared with others.


Bio-logic was one of the first to offer a system for short- and long-term epilepsy monitoring with up to 128 acquisition channels and a digital video option. Its Ceegraph family of digital EEG systems is used in neurology for the analysis of brain electrical activity. The systems perform routine EEG examinations, long-term Epilepsy monitoring of video EEG, and ambulatory recordings in the patient's home. Bio-logic added the DVD-RAM drive to its Windows95/NT-based Ceegraph XL system in order to provide synchronised EEG/video recordings. With the recordings saved digitally on a removable DVD-RAM disc, users have fast, random access to selected EEG events and the corresponding video. In addition, the recordings will not deteriorate over time, even after repeated playback.

Bio-logic also offers SmartPack, a patented data compression option for its Ceegraph line that reduces storage requirements by about 60 percent. With SmartPack, a 5.2 Gb double-sided DVD-RAM disc can store more than 8 Gb of records and reports. Data compression is performed in real time with no loss of information. In addition, Bio-logic incorporates the Panasonic DVD-RAM drive with its Sleepscan II product. The computerised polysomnography system is used by various neurology and cardio-pulmonology specialists for comprehensive diagnosis of sleep disorders both in the hospital and at home. Computerised sleep staging and respiratory analysis is performed to analyse a wide range of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, snoring, as well as related disorders.

"Bio-logic's ability to offer comprehensive monitoring capabilities was instrumental in the landing of a contract with Boston Children's Hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School", said Mike Mills, of Sherlock Systems, the Buffalo Grove, Illinois distributor that provides Bio-logic with Panasonic DVD-RAM drives. "Boston Children's Hospital wanted a fully integrated, state-of-the-art, clinical neuro-physiology lab, so the clinical neuro-physiology laboratory installation also involves Bio-logic's comprehensive family of neuro-diagnostic systems, including the long-term epilepsy monitoring and clinical EEG systems that use Panasonic DVD-RAM drives for storage and archiving."

Contracts such as this are being driven by the ability to offer more advanced monitoring which easily can result in the purchase of a full product line of complementary modules, as was the case with Boston Children's Hospital, as stated Dr. Gabriel Raviv, who is Bio-logic's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Jeff Saake, who is Group General Manager of Panasonic Industrial Company's Computer Technology Group agreed and added that this is an excellent solution to the medical industry's widespread need for low-cost, reliable, long-term storage. It will equally help Bio-logic customers position themselves to participate in emerging telemedicine applications.

Offering a removable storage capacity of 2.6 Gb per single-sided disc and 5.2 Gb per double-sided disc, the DVD-RAM drive eliminates the need to span large video files over several discs as with CD media. DVD-RAM media also provides a data life of 30 years and more than 100.000 write/rewrite cycles, making the .008 cent/Mb storage cost even more attractive. Designed for high performance, the drive has a data transfer rate of up to 10.5 Mbps, and a 120 ms average seek time. Performance is further enhanced by the drive's 2 Mb buffer which prevents data interruptions, even when other tasks are run in the background. A versatile storage solution, the Panasonic DVD-RAM drive can be used to read CDs, as well as DVD-ROM, DVD video, and DVD-R discs.

Bio-logic's Sleepscan II and Ceegraph products, as equipped with Panasonic DVD-RAM drives, are available for immediate delivery from Bio-logic with prices starting at $30.000 for Ceegraph XL and Sleepscan II. Prices include on-site installation and training, and also a one-year warranty. Designed to minimise product obsolescence, Bio-logic systems are modular in design and can often be enhanced with software upgrades. In addition, it is possible to combine different applications on the same recording and review stations. As such, the need is eliminated to purchase individual so-called black boxes for each test procedure, helping the medical personnel as well as the hospital staff maximise cost effectiveness and return on capital expenditure. ISO9001 and EN 06001-certified, Bio-logic equally offers customised testing systems to address individual needs.

Leslie Versweyveld

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