microBIRD now works with Cedara's medical visualization tools

Burlington 27 October 2005Ascension Technology, developer of 3D guidance devices for minimally invasive procedures, and Cedara Software, a Merge Healthcare company and medical software provider, have integrated their hardware and software products into a powerful new imaging platform. The result is ideally suited for clinicians engaged in research in interventional radiology and for companies developing new interventional procedures.

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Working independently, Ascension and Cedara have developed complementary products for 3D guidance and visualization of medical instruments. The integration of these products now enables clinical researchers and device developers to solve the visual targeting problem with a simple to use technology combination. The system provides volume capture, 3D visualization with intervention targeting, and live navigation modes. Importantly, it also works "out of the box" allowing researchers to focus on clinical development.

Developed by Ascension, microBIRD's miniaturized sensors are embedded in medical instruments for guidance to targets inside the human body. Low cost disposable sensors are now available for such use. With widths of just 1,3 mm and smaller, microBIRD sensors easily fit into needles, probes and catheters. Third generational improvements in magnetic transducers and signal processing techniques now enable microBIRD to overcome metal and noise issues that once limited applicability in minimally invasive procedures.

"The combination of Ascension's microBIRD devices with Cedara's navigation software forms a great platform that researchers and companies can use as an advanced starting-point to rapidly create interventional applications", stated Chris Barlow, Cedara's Director of Business Development. "We would be delighted to speak with people about the software needs of specific applications, and how solutions might be quickly turned into products and brought to market through Cedara's Technology Partnership Programme."

Cedara's visualization software suite is a collection of 2D and 3D software plug-ins that lets clinicians rapidly and easily view anatomical structures. The software is capable of real-time rendering of pre-acquired images, such as CT and PET scans, and real-time images, such as ultrasound. It includes tools for volume rendering, 3D segmentation and multiplanar formatting of images.

Jack Scully, Ascension's Vice President of New Business Development, stated: "The integration of positional data and image scans in a 3D visual display provides clinicians with a powerful new minimally invasive tool. Cedara's visualization software sews the pieces together in one elegant targeting solution."

Numerous medical procedures for integrated solutions are presently under investigation or in development. Frequently sited minimally invasive procedures include: ablation of lesions, deployment of devices and delivery of therapeutic agents.

Cedara is a Merge Healthcare company focused on the development of custom engineered software applications and development tools for the medical imaging OEM and international markets. Cedara software is deployed in hospitals and clinics worldwide and is licensed by many of the world's leading medical device and health care information technology companies. Cedara technologies and expertise span all the major digital imaging modalities including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), digital X-ray, mammography, ultrasound, echo-cardiology, angiography, nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography (PET) and fluoroscopy.

Cedara medical imaging offerings are used in all aspects of clinical imaging work flow including the capture of a patient's digital image; the archiving, communication and manipulation of digital images; sophisticated clinical applications to analyse digital images; and the use of imaging in minimally-invasive surgery. More news on Cedara is available in the VWM October 2005 article Cedara Software introduces advanced clinical applications at the 2005 Breast Imaging Conference (BIC) in Orlando.

Ascension is a 3D tracking company specializing in guidance and navigation hardware products for image-guided diagnosis and intervention. The company has a twenty-year track record of core competency in its field with over 10.000 tracking devices sold worldwide. In recent years, its miniaturized sensors have become key enabling components in the development of image-guided procedures. Once incorporated into regulatory-approved medical system, its pulsed DC magnetic tracking technology enables a physician to navigate through the body using three-dimensional images as a guide. More news on Ascension can be found in the VMW November 2005 article Ascension to showcase newest microBIRD tracker at TCT 2005 and receive contract from DARPA.


Leslie Versweyveld

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