Under the terms of the one-year agreement, KEPS will exclusively license and distribute the DICOM version of the OsteoGram on existing and new DR and CR systems in the People's Republic of China. KEPS has the largest installed base of digital radiography systems in China, and currently markets its products via a direct sales organisation, as well as a comprehensive nationwide network of medical imaging distributors.
"We are pleased to partner with Kodak China and to expand our relationship with the Kodak Health Group family", stated Jerry McLaughlin, chief executive officer of CompuMed. "As the Chinese market leader in digital radiography, Kodak China is very well positioned to lead the charge against osteoporosis, which is a major health concern in Asia."
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), osteoporosis affects more than 200 million people worldwide, 80 percent of whom are women. The disease poses an increased public health threat for Asian women, mainly due to the lack of calcium in the traditional Asian diet. According to China's 2000 national census, approximately 88 million of its citizens suffer from primary osteoporosis, making China the nation with the world's highest number of osteoporosis patients. The annual medical cost for those affected by the disease is estimated to be about 15 billion Yuan (USD 84 billion), a figure that does not take into account the significant strain osteoporosis incurs on China's national health care programme.
The OsteoGram is a medical image processing system that enables health care providers to screen, diagnose and monitor osteoporosis using digital images from filmless x-ray equipment or conventional, film-based hand x-rays. The system analyses such images via proprietary software that produces a bone mineral density (BMD) report. The OsteoGram is far less costly and cumbersome than conventional hardware-based BMD systems, which require dedicated and expensive equipment, computers, office space and staff.
The DICOM OsteoGram represents the latest advancement to CompuMed's popular software-based imaging system. DICOM (Digital Communications and Imaging in Medicine) is the information standard that allows the new generation of medical imaging equipment to interconnect. DICOM-based systems, such as filmless x-ray platforms and PACS network servers, have become a high growth segment of the medical imaging market.
Founded in 1973, CompuMed Inc. is a provider of computer-aided telemedicine and diagnostics technology. The company's core products are the OsteoGram and CardioGram systems. The OsteoGram, which is cleared by the FDA for commercial use, is an accurate and precise technology for cost-effective osteoporosis testing. The CardioGram system remotely interprets electrocardiograms and is used by private practice, government and corporate health care providers nationwide. The CardioGram has the additional capability to automatically provide an over-read, i.e. follow-up review, by a cardiologist. More CompuMed news is available in the VMW April 2006 article CompuMed Inc. announces latest contract to provide remote ECG screening.