por Loren Bonner
, DOTmed News Online Editor | February 21, 2014
Philips Healthcare announced this week that they can now offer customers automated whole breast ultrasound (AWBUS) imaging.
Philips and SonoCiné Inc. signed an agreement that will combine SonoCiné's AWBUS with Philips' EPIQ and iU22 ultrasound systems. SonoCiné's system is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to perform automatic ultrasound scans of the entire breast and lymph nodes for women with dense breast tissue. It's been cleared as an adjunct to mammography screening. But in most cases, it is not covered by insurance.
"Integrating the advanced engineering of SonoCiné's AWBUS with Philips' premium ultrasound systems will provide our customers with a new solution to address this population of women who are at higher risk of breast cancer," said Conrad Smits, general manager of Philips Ultrasound, in a statement.
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Studies have shown that women with dense breast tissue have an increased likelihood of cancer. Results from the first American College of Radiology Imaging Network's 6666 breast cancer trial, published in 2008, showed ultrasound with mammography found an additional 1.1 to 7.2 cancers per 1,000 high-risk women with dense breast tissue.
An earlier study found women with dense breasts were not at increased risk of dying from cancer although they are more likely to get it.
Over a dozen states have laws that require providers to inform women receiving mammograms if they have dense breasts, and what types of options are available to serve as a supplemental screening.
The deal between Philips and SonoCiné mimics GE Healthcare's move in 2012 to acquire
the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based U-Systems, the manufacturer of somo-v Automated Breast Ultrasound System.