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Toshiba Ships 300th OPART Open MRI System; Continued Momentum with System Sales Demonstrates Market Demand.

Business Editors and Health/Medical Writers

TUSTIN, Calif.--(BW HealthWire)--Dec. 15, 2000

Toshiba America Medical Systems (TAMS) recently manufactured and shipped its 300th OPART(TM) open magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, illustrating ongoing demand for the only superconducting, 0.35-tesla, cryogenless open MRI system available today.

Since worldwide sales began three years ago, the OPART has maintained impressive sales momentum selling approximately 100 systems per year. In 2000, the ongoing demand for state-of-the-art MRI systems has continued with market sales expected to be nearly $1.2 billion.

"We're very pleased with the sales success of the OPART," said John Zimmer, vice president, marketing, TAMS. "OPART was designed with the intention of meeting the demands of the U.S. health care market by providing clinicians with technology that delivers comfortable patient exams while meeting high clinical expectations.

"Since the U.S. market in many ways leads the world, we've seen these same demands increase on an international level resulting in continued interest in OPART."

The 300th OPART system was sent to TAMS' sister company, Toshiba Medical Systems Europe, where it will then be delivered to a facility in Italy. The system features Toshiba's most advanced version 3.3 software, an 80 cm motorized patient couch and flat panel monitor.

It also has multi-channel array electronics, peripheral pulse gating and 10 standard coils, including the QD/array neck coil, large and extra-large body coils, extremity coil, shoulder array coil and flexible small parts coil.

"We've designed our open MRI systems to deliver quality images and comfort for patients without compromise," said Anita Bowler, manager, open-MRI products for Toshiba. "The OPART also delivers clinical results that help hospitals and imaging centers meet the demands of the managed care market."

Toshiba's OPART system combines superconducting technology with advanced software for a wide range of conventional and innovative pulse sequences that increase clinical utility and versatility. The system supports suppression techniques such as Water Fat Separation, as well as basic pulse sequences such as Spin Echo, Inversion Recovery and 2-D and 3-D Field Echo.

The advanced sequences available on the OPART include the ability to perform Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI) and Perfusion Weighted Imaging (PWI) for stroke detection and staging, which historically have only been available on high-field systems. These techniques can produce images to estimate blood flow without the use of contrast media, making the procedure more oriented toward patient comfort.

The system also can perform MR fluoroscopy with the use of Toshiba's Seamless Operation(TM) design and QuadScan technology.

To develop a superior technology, Toshiba designed OPART from the ground up, replacing the traditional tube design with an open architecture that reduces the sensation of feeling enclosed and accommodates patients of size. The system's open design enables clinicians to access patients from all four sides of the unit.

This access makes it possible to leave ancillary monitoring equipment in place, allowing OPART to be functional in emergency and intensive care environments.

With headquarters in Tustin, Toshiba America Medical Systems is a subsidiary of Toshiba America Inc., which employs 10,000 throughout the United States. TAMS markets, sells, distributes and services diagnostic imaging systems, coordinates clinical diagnostic imaging research and has responsibility for research and development for all modalities in the United States.

Toshiba's imaging products include CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, and both conventional and vascular X-ray systems. Toshiba Corp. is a major provider of electronics and energy systems and products and a $54 billion organization with more than 191,000 employees worldwide.
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Date:Dec 15, 2000
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