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People Briefs: Varian Medical Systems, MDMA, Precedent Spine Health

Varian Medical Systems names R. Andrew Eckert Chairman of the Board. Medical Device Manufacturers Association taps new VP of government affairs. Precedent Spine Health Appoints CEO. More people briefs.

Medical Device

Preparing Molecular Imaging's Future

Diagnostic imaging systems such as CT/PET and MR/PET, which bring together in vivo anatomical and functional information in the same device or at the same workstation, offer a real opportunity for expanding the clinical utility of molecular imaging. But to drive adoption of these new combination systems will require data showing that their use changes therapeutic decision-making. For the most part, these data are at least several years away, with most of the work today in cancer, where in vivo imaging has been shown to better evaluate tumor type, guide radiation therapy, and change chemotherapy management. In the meantime, suppliers of imaging equipment to hospitals and research institutions are collaborating with academics and companies that are developing new radiotracers and other molecular probes. Such moves are not typical for these organizations, which, like IVD companies, traditionally have placed their bets on selling products into mature markets, rather than innovative R&D-oriented projects.

Medical Device Business Strategies

At Least for Some, an Independence Day Celebration at Marconi

By acquiring Marconi Medical Systems in a $1.1 billion deal announced in July, Philips NV tacks on volume and adds scale to its medical systems business. Strategically, however, the move is part of a continuing response to competitor GE Medical Systems' ongoing acquisition efforts, which have challenged its competitors in medical capital equipment to get bigger to keep up.

Medical Device

In Hospital Equipment It's Goodbye Agilent, Hello Philips-Andover

With its $1.7 billion acquisition of the Healthcare Solutions Group (HSG) of Agilent Technologies, the fourth major purchase for the company in less than two-and-a-half years, Philips Medical Systems believes it now has the muscle to compete long term with its principle competitors in the global hospital equipment market: GE Medical Systems and Siemens Medical Systems. As patient monitoring and clinical systems have become more integrated, drawing information in multiple formats from many hospital departments and remote locations, hospitals increasingly want to work with a single supplier, driving consolidation. Being the winner, or highly competitive, on a product-to-product basis, as Philips has been in its markets, is no longer enough. Thus, to maintain a level playing field with GE and Siemens, which have each been bulking up via acquisition this year--notably Siemens with Acuson and Shared Medical Systems, and GE with Critikon, plus many smaller purchases--Philips has also been expanding the size, breadth, and depth of its offerings. For Agilent, the deal puts to rest a half-year's worth of speculation about what it would do with HSG, which had experienced declining orders and revenues in the last two quarters, leading to an August 2000 restructuring.

Medical Device Research and Development Strategies
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