Hologic and SuperSonic Imagine Join Forces To Market Breast Ultrasound

Hologic Inc, Bedford, Mass, a leading supplier of women’s diagnostic products and medical imaging systems, has teamed up with SuperSonic Imagine, SA, a producer of diagnostic ultrasound technology, to market SuperSonic Imagine’s Aixplorer ultrasound technology platform to the breast care community in the United States. Founded in 2005, SuperSonic Imagine is based in Aix-en-Provence, France. Under the direction of Jacques Souquet, PhD, and Claude Cohen-Bacrie, executive vice president and CTO, the company is expanding into additional clinical applications where its innovative technology will provide new clinical benefits.

Under the terms of the exclusive agreement, Hologic will sell, install, and service SuperSonic Imagine’s Aixplorer ultrasound technology platform across the nation. According to Peter Soltani, senior vice president and general manager of Hologic’s Breast Health division, “Hologic is committed to providing the highest quality imaging products to assist in the diagnosis of breast disease. Partnering with SuperSonic Imagine to market the Aixplorer breast ultrasound platform is a natural extension of our portfolio. With the addition of the Aixplorer system, we can provide clinicians another leading edge technology to help detect breast cancer in its early stages.” Jacques Souquet of SuperSonic Imagine adds that “We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Hologic as we share a commitment to clinical rigor and to providing the market with best in class devices.”

Alicia Garfield, product marketing manager for Hologic, said, “The company is constantly looking for ways to offer high-quality women’s health care products to customers, and Aixplorer was a natural and timely extension to our product offering.”

The Aixplorer MultiWave™ ultrasound system features a patented, software-based architecture that incorporates the latest signal processing technology designed to enable excellent B-mode image quality. Aixplorer’s high definition B-mode clarity provides improved conspicuity and better delineation of normal and abnormal structures. Aixplorer also offers a new imaging tool, ShearWave ElastographyTM, which adds another diagnostic element by providing a real-time, color-coded map of true local tissue elasticity. Unlike most strain or stress elastography, Aixplorer’s technique is user-skill independent, quantifiable, and reproducible.

Historically, ultrasound imaging was considered an efficient method to differentiate solid lesions from liquid lesions. As a result of research over the last 15 years, ultrasound has become an important technique, with a very high negative predictive value, in the classification of lesions on the BI-RADS® scale: 2 (benign) to 5 (highly suggestive of malignancy).

“The Aixplorer MultiWave ultrasound system was specifically designed for breast ultrasound,” said Garfield. “It features a patented, software-based architecture that incorporates the latest in graphics and signal processing technology to enable high-definition imaging in B-mode, Color, Power Doppler, and ShearWaveTM Elastography. Aixplorer’s excellent B-mode image clarity improves lesion characterization and increases diagnostic confidence.”

Hologic’s core business units are focused on breast health, diagnostics, GYN surgical, and skeletal health. Hologic provides a comprehensive suite of technologies with products for mammography and breast biopsy, MRI breast coils, radiation treatment for early-stage breast cancer, cervical cancer screening, treatment for menorrhagia, permanent contraception, osteoporosis assessment, preterm birth risk assessment, mini C-arm for extremity imaging, and molecular diagnostic products including HPV and reagents for a variety of DNA and RNA analysis applications.

With 4,000 employees worldwide and more than two decades of experience, Hologic claims it holds the premier position in nine technology areas serving women’s health, including breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, cervical cancer screening, prenatal testing, and osteoporosis detection. As far as their new partnership with SuperSonic Imagine, Garfield noted, “Customers have been very impressed and pleased with the image quality, ease of use, and ergonomics of Aixplorer.”

—James Markland

SonoSite Scores with NBA Development League

Headquartered in Bothell, Wash, SonoSite is an innovator and world leader in bedside and point-of-care ultrasound and an industry leader in ultra high-frequency micro-ultrasound technology and impedance cardiography equipment. The company is represented by 10 subsidiaries and a global distribution network in more than 100 countries. SonoSite’s small, lightweight systems are expanding the use of ultrasound across the clinical spectrum by cost-effectively bringing high-performance ultrasound to the point-of-patient care.

Recently, SonoSite became the presenting partner of the 2011 presentation of the fifth annual NBA D-League All-Star game at the Los Angeles Convention Center. According to Kevin M. Goodwin, SonoSite’s president and CEO, “The All-Star game is one of the most exciting games of the season and we look forward to arming team physicians and trainers with the power of courtside visualization. Weighing less than 10 pounds, our ultrasound systems provide team trainers and physicians with the unique ability to evaluate a player’s injury at the point-of-care. Not only do players have the opportunity to get back in the game faster, but also visualization of the anatomy offers physicians the reassurance that they accurately assessed and treated the injury. We congratulate the NBA D-League in providing the highest level of care to their players.”

Kevin Taylor is the athletic trainer for the NBA D-League Idaho Stampede. He uses the SonoSite M-Turbo ultrasonic unit, a rugged new model with 16 times the processing power of the previous generation. “It’s the size of a laptop,” said Taylor. “I take it everywhere, and at under 10 pounds, it can easily go everywhere I go.” Taylor stresses the convenience of the M-Turbo system. “Turn it on and it takes about 10 to 15 seconds before it’s ready to go. There’s no need for power; the battery is good for up to 3 hours.”

“With 20% of NBA players on end-of-season rosters last year boasting NBA D-League experience, our All-Star Game offers fans unique access to players who are poised to make it to the next level,” said NBA D-League president Dan Reed. “Our partnership with SonoSite provides our team doctors and athletic trainers the option to utilize its world-class technology, and we are excited to have them become the presenting partner of our annual All-Star Game.”

“The technology provides reassurance for the athlete,” added Taylor. “It’s ideal for examining potential sprains, and hamstring, wrist, and finger injuries. For example, it immediately rules out a fracture so the athlete gains the advantage of quick diagnosis.”

Still, the technology is relatively new to the sports realm. SonoSite joined the NBA D-League in October 2010 as part of a comprehensive multiyear marketing partnership, which makes them the preferred provider of ultrasound products to the NBA and the NBA D-League. Through this relationship, the company has been working with the NBA and NBA D-League’s team physicians and athletic trainers to educate them about SonoSite’s unique diagnostic ultrasound tools that are highly portable and can assist in efficiently diagnosing, treating, and monitoring the rehabilitation of professional athletes.

—James Markland