Digital Healthcare Clinical Trials iP® Software (VPDT) Used in International Pioneering Study of Treatment for Blindness

Digital Healthcare is pleased to announce the use of its innovative Clinical Trials iP® software in a pioneering study involving Verteporfin Photodynamic Therapy (VPDT) for the treatment of "wet" Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) June 29, 2006 -- Digital Healthcare is pleased to announce the use of its innovative Clinical Trials iP® software in a pioneering study involving Verteporfin Photodynamic Therapy (VPDT) for the treatment of "wet" Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). This innovative software system was developed by Digital Healthcare, the Baltimore-based clinical imaging and workflow management company.

The Clinical Trials iP® software is a sophisticated electronic platform that combines the capacity to handle the huge volumes of imaging data captured to diagnose and treat "wet" AMD, with an electronic patient care management system. After reading center staff use the system to import thousands of retinal images, data can then be electronically transferred to a network of various grading computers via a secure telemessaging facility.

In a unique partnership with three image reading centers located in The Queen's University of Belfast, St Paul's Eye Unit, Liverpool and Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, the company's Clinical Trials iP® software will enable healthcare staff to analyze digital images of the retina gathered from over 3,000 patients per annum, over the next four years, in 50 regional eye units throughout the United Kingdom.

The results from this study will be used to measure the effectiveness of a specialist drug and laser therapy (Verteporfin Photodynamic Therapy) as a treatment for patients suffering from "wet" age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease of the retina that causes blindness in millions worldwide every year.

Professor Usha Chakravarthy of the Centers for Vision Science at Queen's University, Belfast and Ophthalmic Consultant at Belfast's Royal Hospitals, is one of the lead clinical investigators involved in delivering treatment for patients with "wet" AMD. "This is a defining moment in the introduction of new technologies in that it will provide robust findings on the long-term benefits of verteporfin photodynamic therapy for the "wet" form of age-related macular degeneration, which afflicts several thousand older adults annually." said Professor Chakravarthy.

So far, over 5,000 images or angiograms from over 3,000 patients have been submitted in digital and film formats from the 50 regional treatment centers to the Central Angiographic Resource Facility (CARF) in Belfast and imported into Digital Healthcare's Clinical Trials iP® software.

Dr Liam Patton of Queen's University, Belfast and a manager at the CARF, said: "A key strength of the Clinical Trials iP® software is that it enables images captured from a variety of sources to be standardized and graded on a common platform. We can accept angiograms from almost any ophthalmic imaging system in use in the UK, and we also import film images. We can then use a secure electronic telemessaging system to transfer the images to the Reading Centers for grading.

The software has eliminated the need to use paper-based systems previously used for this type of work. During the grading process, there are a multitude of tools available to assist grading staff in arriving at their decisions, including grids, circles and measurement tools so that graders can manipulate and compare images. The software also includes a built-in facility to highlight "urgent" patients so that they can be promptly graded and their results transferred to a treatment centers for further investigations."

Nick Nightingale, Applications Director at Digital Healthcare, said: "We are delighted to have been selected to provide the software for this groundbreaking study that will generate vital information to improve treatments for patients suffering from AMD, and which could also serve as a model for the assessment of new healthcare technologies.

About Digital Healthcare, Inc:
Based in Baltimore, Maryland with a Midwest office in Madison, Wisconsin, Digital Healthcare develops advanced imaging and workflow technologies for a range of healthcare applications. Digital Healthcare designed a rapid applications development platform based on Microsoft .NET connected technologies framework called iP® and the company now offers products in Clinical Ophthalmology, Remote Retinal Diagnostic Imaging and Digital Reading Centers. The company counts several major US defense organizations and several leading academic institutions among its early adopters. Digital Healthcare's parent company is based in Cambridge, England, and was formed as a management buyout from Perkin Elmer Life Sciences in 1999.

For more information, please contact the following:
Technical Contact: Tony Dolezal
CEO: Gerry Skews

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