Healthcare Industry News:  cardiac imaging 

Devices Radiology Cardiology

 News Release - September 5, 2008

Digirad Corporation Developing New Cardiac Imaging System With Distortion Correction

Initial Clinical Trials Indicate Higher-Quality Scans in Shorter Time With Negligible Radiation Dose

POWAY, Calif., Sept. 5 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Digirad Corporation (Nasdaq: DRAD ), a leading provider of medical diagnostic imaging systems and services to physicians' offices, hospitals and imaging centers, today announced the initial clinical trial of a new imaging system incorporating new proprietary technology to correct attenuation, or image distortion, an inherent issue in cardiac SPECT imaging.

Cardiac SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) -- also called myocardial perfusion imaging -- is a non-invasive test to assess the heart's structure and function. Small amounts of radioactive substances are injected into the patient's vein, and special cameras produce images of the heart. These SPECT images are used to identify blockages in coronary arteries, determine whether a patient has had a heart attack, evaluate risk of a heart attack, and assess a patient's condition after bypass surgery or angioplasty.

According to Senior Vice President of Technology Richard Conwell, attenuation is the most significant issue in cardiac SPECT. There are alternative solutions that attempt to address this problem, but they involve tradeoffs, such as "noisy" images, truncated scans, lengthy procedures with risk of excess movement by patients, or higher levels of radiation dosage.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Casner commented: "Research and development was based on our Cardius 3 triple-head SPECT camera, and feedback from initial clinical trials at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is promising, compared to other SPECT systems at competitive price points. We are seeing improvement in imaging clarity and accuracy, more rapid imaging, and a significant reduction in radiation dosage. In addition, we may be able to eliminate the need for isotope replacement resulting in lower operational costs."

Casner said that the new system, Cardius X-ACT(TM), will be exhibited at the 2008 Annual Scientific Session of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) to be held on September 10-14, 2008, at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

In coordination with ASNC events, Digirad will host a luncheon symposium on September 13, from noon to 1:30 p.m., that will be moderated by Jamshid Maddahi M.D., F.A.C.C. and will include recent advances in solid-state detectors, rapid SPECT imaging, x-ray attenuation correction (VCT), and multi-center trial results of rapid imaging.

In addition to the initial study at UCLA, Casner said that two other clinical studies are planned. The new Cardius X-ACT system is expected to be available for sale sometime in mid-2009 pending required regulatory approvals.

About Digirad

Digirad Corporation provides diagnostic nuclear and ultrasound imaging systems and services to physicians' offices, hospitals and other medical services providers for cardiac, vascular, and general imaging applications. Digirad's Cardius XPO line of nuclear imaging cameras use patented solid-state technology and unique multi (dual, triple) head design for superior performance and advanced features for sharper digital images, faster processing, compact size, lighter weight for portability, ability to handle patients up to 500 pounds, and improved patient comfort compared to standard nuclear cameras. Digirad's 2020tc general-purpose nuclear imager has a small footprint and may also be configured for fixed or mobile use to supplement primary imaging. Digirad's installed base of equipment exceeds 550 systems; in addition, a mobile fleet of 164 nuclear and ultrasound imaging systems is being used in 22 states and the District of Columbia, primarily in the eastern, midwestern and southwestern United States. For more information, please visit http://www.digirad.com. Digirad®, Digirad Imaging Solutions®, and Cardius® are registered trademarks of Digirad Corporation.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward looking statements. You can identify these statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts and use words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe" and other words and terms of similar meaning. Examples of such forward looking statements include statements regarding continuing research and development, competitive factors, expected improvements in performance, timeline for entering and completing clinical trials, and timeline for new-product availability. Actual performance and benefits results may differ materially from those set forth in this press release due to risks and uncertainties inherent in Digirad's business including, without limitation, changes in business conditions, technology, customers' business conditions, work force, suppliers, business prospects, economic outlook, operational policy or structure, acceptance and use of Digirad's camera systems and services, reliability, recalls, and other risks detailed in Digirad's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Form 8-K and other reports. Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on these forward looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and Digirad undertakes no obligation to revise or update the forward looking statements contained herein.


Source: Digirad

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