12/09/2005

Siemens AG Medical Solutions

Siemens Introduces Advancements for Acuson Sequoia Ultrasound Platform

The Encompass III from Siemens
Siemens Medical Solutions continues to advance cardiovascular ultrasound, particularly for left ventricular (LV) imaging and congestive heart failure with its Encompass III release on the Acuson Sequoia C512 ultrasound platform. This latest in a series of three releases over the past 11 months is being highlighted at the Ninth Annual Meeting of the European Association of Echocardiography (EUROECHO 9) in Florence 7th- 10th December 2005.

The Encompass III release further enhances the ergonomics and workflow features offered on both the Encompass I and II releases for the Sequoia platform. Offering physicians clinical application solutions and workflow features, the Encompass III release includes an exciting new means to assess the heart’s contraction mechanics using ultrasound information called Axius Velocity Vector Imaging (VVI). Additionally, the release includes Axius Auto EF, a proprietary computer-aided detection (CAD) technology that automatically calculates ejection fraction without the need for operator interaction.

With Axius VVI, clinicians can now see a graphical presentation of tissue motion using arrows to display direction and absolute velocity of motion in one ventricle, providing clinicians the ability to see a “freeze frame” of motion at any point in the cardiac cycle. This enables clinicians to easily visualize both contraction and relaxation mechanics and offers a new method for assessing cardiac function for the primary objectives of ventricular assessment and congestive heart failure.

“VVI is a promising new technology that provides unique insight into ventricular mechanics,” said Jim Thomas, M.D., Charles and Lorraine Moore Chair of Cardiovascular Imaging, professor of medicine and biomedical engineering, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Foundation. “We have found it to be helpful in evaluating patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and candidates for biventricular pacing.”

The new Axius Auto EF helps to enhance accuracy and workflow by automatically detecting and calculating the most common cardiac function parameters using Siemens’ proprietary pattern recognition technology. The Auto EF technology helps reduce observer variability by bringing expert-level interpretation to every exam. As a result, clinical diagnoses and support are more accurate and exam time is shortened.

“Auto EF is a novel 2D echo image analysis system that uses artificial intelligence pattern and shape recognition to rapidly and reproducibly calculate ejection fraction,” said John Gorcsan, M.D., professor of medicine, director of echocardiography, University of Pittsburgh. “We studied over 100 patients with a wide range of ventricular function and found Auto EF to be possible in more than 90 percent of our patients, with the remaining patients requiring some manual editing. It requires less time than manual EF and shows strong clinical potential.”

Siemens also announced its real-time 3D transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) offerings called fourSight RT3D imaging. Building on the Sequoia system’s coherent image formation, RT3D provides accurate reconstruction of complex anatomy for improved calculation accuracy and reproducibility in volume measurements. The
package also features the new 4Z1c transducer, which is both lighter and smaller than existing 3D transducers. The new transducer is packaged in a novel ergonomic
shape, specially designed for a better hand fit to help reduce user strain and fatigue.

“By bringing volumetric acquisition and quantification of 3D sets to the industry’s top-selling ultrasound platform, we are expanding the value and versatility of our customers’ investment in their Sequoia cardiovascular systems,” said Klaus Hambüchen, president, Ultrasound Division, Siemens Medical Solutions. “With three Encompass releases for the Sequoia platform this year, not only have we introduced applications that increase the quality of the system and reduce the time needed for echocardiographic assessment of heart patients, we are offering our customers unequaled clinical value in their businesses.”

Siemens Medical Solutions is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry. The company is known for bringing together innovative medical technologies, healthcare information systems, management consulting, and support services, to help customers achieve tangible, sustainable, clinical and financial outcomes. From imaging systems for diagnosis, to therapy equipment for treatment, to patient monitors to hearing instruments and beyond, Siemens innovations contribute to the health and well-being of people across the globe, while improving operational efficiencies and optimizing workflow in hospitals, clinics, home health agencies, and doctors' offices. Employing approximately 33.000 people worldwide and operating in more than 120 countries, Siemens Medical Solutions reported sales of 7.6 billion EUR, orders of 8.6 billion EUR and group profit of 1 billion EUR for fiscal 2005 (preliminary figures). Further information can be found under: www.siemens.com/medical