The system being installed in Brittany, France, includes Samba's Multimedia Medical Server, that embeds a Case Report Server for continuing medical education purposes, and its PDB 2000 software suite, which is used for telemedicine imaging services in the emergency, radiology, orthopaedics, and pathology departments. The Brittany system will connect two major academic hospitals and more than 20 small- and medium-sized hospitals and clinics. It serves a local population of more than three million residents.
The system, expected to be fully functional by year end, is the first in what Samba expects to be a continuing programme of similar installations to be included in WANs being developed by France Telecom to electronically link health care operations in other French regions. Samba is currently awaiting final signatures on a contract to install a similar system in a second France Telecom developed WAN by the end of the year.
The system in Brittany will enhance patient care while reducing the costs by enabling smaller hospitals in the area to access the expertise of the imaging departments located at the academic hospitals. The Samba Tele-pathology System is considered unique because of its powerful ability to provide virtual pathology images in a pay-per-view model. Users can eliminate the need for large scale instruments, thus reducing capital expenses. Access to Samba's database is available around the clock, and images can be forwarded via e-mail in high-resolution files.
"We are very pleased that France Telecom and officials in Brittany have chosen Samba's telemedicine solutions for their new WAN connecting local hospitals", stated Peter Gombrich, Ampersand's chairman and chief executive officer. "Building on the network of more than 125 Samba systems that have already been installed in France, the system in Brittany will enable local physicians to better track and evaluate their patients."
Other European installations include a collaboration of pathologists using the Samba Tele-pathology System, in order to develop a database of peer-reviewed pathology cases complete with images, video clips, and text files. This shared resource provides continuing medical education, research, second-opinion consultations and analysis. The database is made available through a common server to a number of universities and laboratories.
Samba is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ampersand Medical, located in the city of Grenoble, France. It offers tele-pathology, tele-radiology, and image analysis software to reference laboratories and independent clinics. Enabling the virtual laboratory, it also provides the ability to serve remote populations through the Internet where access to pathology services is limited or as good as unavailable. Samba Technologies has been in operation since 1979 and brought its first tele-pathology product to market in 1995.
Ampersand Medical Corporation is developing cost-effective, point-of-care screening systems to assist in the early detection of cervical, gastrointestinal and other cancers. The InPath System is being developed to provide medical practitioners with a highly accurate, low-cost, point-of-care cervical cancer screening system. Other products include AIM 2000, an automated system facilitating the analysis of medical samples and Samba Virtual Laboratory software used for medical image processing, database and multi-media case management, tele-pathology and tele-radiology.