Atlanta's Northside Hospital and HealthTrust Purchasing Group adopt R2's ImageChecker CAD technology for all screening mammography patients

Sunnyvale 12 April 2006Northside Hospital, one of the Southeast's most comprehensive medical centres, now offers R2 Technology's ImageChecker computer aided detection (CAD) technology to all of its screening mammography patients. With the installation of seven new R2 CAD systems, Northside will now provide this innovative technology to nearly 80.000 women each year at its 10 metro Atlanta imaging facilities. In addition, HealthTrust Purchasing Group (HPG) has awarded the R2 company a two-year contract for its ImageChecker computer aided detection (CAD) systems for use with mammography.

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R2's ImageChecker CAD system serves as a "second set of eyes" to the radiologist, helping to ensure that potential cancers are not missed during review of screening mammograms. A recent study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology showed that R2's CAD system increased detection rates of small, invasive breast cancers by 164 percent. The study also showed that the women's mean age at cancer detection with R2's CAD was 5,3 years younger or, potentially five mammography cycles sooner, than in those for whom CAD was not used.

"More cases of breast cancer are diagnosed and treated at Northside Hospital than at any other hospital in Georgia", stated Dr. Lynn Baxter, director of Breast Imaging for Northside Radiology Associates at Northside Hospital. "R2's CAD technology is proven in clinical studies to enable earlier detection of breast cancer. By offering it to all of our mammography patients, we are reinforcing our commitment to women's health and providing our patients with the most advanced, state-of-the-art technology possible."

This year, nearly 213.000 women in the United States, including nearly 6000 women in Georgia, will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40.000 women will die of this disease, according to the American Cancer Society. In 2005, nearly 900 breast cancer patients, or approximately 15 percent of the Georgia women diagnosed with breast cancer, sought services through the Northside Hospital Breast Care Programme.

"Northside is recognized in the Southeast, and throughout the country, for its expertise in women's health", stated Mark Koeniguer, R2's vice president of global sales. "We are proud that Northside has chosen R2's Gold Standard CAD to help them serve patients in the critically important area of breast cancer screening. Northside's adoption of R2's CAD technology further reinforces this proven technology as the standard of care in screening mammography."

Five independent prospective clinical studies from academic and community practices showed that the use of R2's mammography CAD resulted in 6,6 percent to 19,5 percent more cancers detected. R2's ImageChecker system was the first CAD system approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use with film-based mammography in 1998 and for digital mammography in 2001. Since 1998, the company has received multiple supplemental approvals for technological and clinical advances and owns or has exclusive worldwide rights in more than 115 issued and pending patents. To date, more than 2400 ImageChecker Mammography CAD systems have been sold worldwide and this year approximately ten million women will have their mammograms interpreted with the aid of R2's technology.

The Northside Hospital health care delivery system is a not-for-profit health care provider that has served North Metro Atlanta for more than three decades. With more than 1800 physicians on its medical staff, Northside cares for more than 430.000 patients a year. Its physicians and staff provide a full range of health care services, including women's services, cancer care, emergency services, surgery, speciality medicine and a wide array of outpatient services at many locations. Northside Hospital offers high-quality health care at Northside Hospital-Atlanta in Sandy Springs, at Northside Hospital-Cherokee in Canton and at Northside Hospital-Forsyth in Cumming.

HealthTrust Purchasing Group, a health care group purchasing organisation, will make R2's ImageChecker Mammography CAD systems available to its members, approximately 1200 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centres and alternate care sites around the United States.

"HPG is one of the most respected group purchasing organisations in the country. We are pleased to serve their members so that more women nationwide will have access to our potentially life-saving technology", stated John Pavlidis, R2's president and chief executive officer.

HealthTrust Purchasing Group, headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, is a group purchasing organisation that supports not-for-profit and for-profit acute care hospitals, ambulatory surgery centres, alternate care sites, and physician practices. HPG is committed to obtaining the best price for clinically-recommended products, ensuring their timely delivery and continuously evaluating and improving its services to the patients, physicians and clinicians it serves.

R2 Technology Inc. is an expert in the development and commercialization of computer aided detection (CAD), an innovative technology that assists physicians in the earlier detection of breast cancer, actionable lung nodules and other lung abnormalities. As a medical imaging company dedicated to diagnostic decision support, increasing physician productivity and preventing medical errors, R2 Technology is developing CAD systems for a variety of imaging modalities and disease states. More company news is available in the VMW June 2005 article R2 Technology launches its second-generation ImageChecker CT Lung computer-aided detection system.


Leslie Versweyveld

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