Siemens Medical Solutions Ultrasound Division and U-Systems Inc. have entered into an agreement whereby Siemens will distribute U-Systems’ SomoVu™ automated breast ultrasound system on a worldwide scale. The completely automated system can be used as an adjunct to mammography, focusing primarily on women with dense breast tissue. Studies have shown that mammography is less effective in such patients.
“Ultrasound is emerging as a critically important breast imaging complement to mammography for the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer, particularly for women with dense breast tissue,” said Joseph W. Pepper, president and CEO of U-Systems Inc. ”The challenge with ultrasound has always been to produce standardized, repeatable images much like mammography has done. Our automated ultrasound solution joined with the sales and marketing expertise of Siemens Medical will allow us to achieve broader market awareness and to accelerate the dissemination of this leading edge technology into the fight against breast cancer.”
In a recently published study in The New England Journal of Medicine, Canadian researchers reported that women with significantly dense breast tissue have a risk of breast cancer three to five times higher than women with fatty breast tissue. Furthermore, dense breast tissue makes the detection of cancer by mammography more difficult.
The SomoVu system is a cost-effective, patient-friendly solution that provides automated ultrasound image acquisition of the breast. In combination with an integrated display system, it allows for comprehensive display and review of 3-D breast volumes.
“Automated ultrasound acquisition systems, such as the SomoVu breast scanner, mark the first steps to establish ultrasound as a cost-effective, breast imaging supplement without the use of ionizing radiation,” said Klaus Hambuechen, president of Siemens Medical Solutions Ultrasound Division. “Automated image acquisition makes ultrasound studies less user-dependent increasing reproducibility. The automated breast scanner is only the beginning. Siemens Medical Solutions is already working on automated ultrasound acquisition techniques for other applications as well.”
About U-Systems Inc.
U-Systems Inc. was founded in the Silicon Valley in 1997. The company designs, manufactures and markets automated ultrasound systems to assist healthcare providers in the diagnosis of breast cancer. The company has built a leadership position in automated breast ultrasound imaging systems and has incorporated proprietary hardware and software technology into its SomoVu Automated Breast Ultrasound System. Siemens Venture Capital, www.siemensventurecapital.com, has invested in U-Systems since 2003. For more information, go to www.u-sys.com.
Siemens Medical Solutions of Siemens AG (NYSE: SI) 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. Recent acquisitions in the area of in-vitro diagnostics – such as Diagnostic Products Corporation and Bayer Diagnostics – mark a significant milestone for Siemens as it becomes the first full service diagnostics company. Employing more than 41,000 people worldwide and operating in over 130 countries, Siemens Medical Solutions reported sales of 8.23 billion EUR, orders of 9.33 billion EUR and group profit of 1.06 billion EUR for fiscal 2006 (Sept. 30). Further information can be found by visiting www.siemens.com/medical.