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Diagnostic imaging

KGH acquires MRI-based breast imaging

TORONTO – Dr. Morris (Mickey) Milner, President and CEO of the Health Technology Exchange (HTX), announced the successful adoption of Sentinelle Medical’s new breast imaging system by Kingston General Hospital (KGH), through the HTX’s Health Technology Assessment and Implementation Program (HTAIP), a program funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.

This program supports the uptake of innovative medical technologies in Ontario through partnering companies with local hospitals. Program funding directly supports the assessment and implementation of a novel medical technology in an Ontario hospital.

“Ontario has been proud to watch Sentinelle Medical thrive and grow from 25 to more than 100 employees in just two years,” said Minister of Research and Innovation John Milloy. “Now, the validation that Kingston General Hospital will provide by adopting Sentinelle’s innovative imaging system will help open new doors for the company, while bringing leading-edge medical care to the region. Ontario is pleased to support this success by funding programs like the one provided by HTX.”

“The program has provided Kingston General Hospital with access to a leading-edge imaging technology at a low cost,” said Karen Pearson, Director of Imaging at KGH. “Without programs like this, and with the budget constraints hospitals face, there is a good chance we would not have been able to get our hands on this new technology and assess its implementation in our hospital.”

Sentinelle’s new breast imaging system, the Vanguard System for Siemens’ magnetic resonance (MR) units , allows a cancer clinic to use innovative MR imaging technology to do breast scans, and to simultaneously guide and do breast biopsies. This is a new approach to diagnose and manage breast cancer.

“Sentinelle’s system gives us superior images from breast scans and, at the same time, we can do image-guided biopsies. This higher and value-added performance has allowed us to expand the capabilities of our breast cancer program to the benefit of our patients,” said Dr. Eric Sauerbrei, Director of Breast Imaging at Hotel Dieu Hospital and Kingston General Hospital.

As Sentinelle’s CEO Cameron Piron puts it, “Sentinelle is gaining critical customer feedback from KGH that is invaluable to our company. KGH’s ongoing assessment of our technology will bolster our commercialization efforts, as well as help develop best practices for future breast imaging programs in and outside Ontario.”

“Our Health Technology Assessment and Implementation Program is proving to be a one-of-a-kind program that lowers barriers usually encountered when trying to implement a new technology in an Ontario hospital, while providing companies with customer validations in a clinical setting that will help promote future product sales, locally and abroad,” said Dr. Milner.

About the Ministry of Research and Innovation (
Ontario is making innovation a key driver of its economy. Through the $3.2-billion Ontario Innovation Agenda, the province is capitalizing on its creative environment, diverse culture, highly skilled workforce and internationally recognized education system. By supporting research and innovation, Ontario is helping pioneer new knowledge and new discoveries that will create high-value jobs, a strong economy and better lives for Ontario families.

About Sentinelle Medical (
Sentinelle Medical is dedicated to improving patient care with early detection and accurate intervention. The company researches, develops, manufactures, sells and supports leading edge Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technologies. The ground breaking Sentinelle Vanguard breast coils provide excellent quality MR images, complete and open access for intervention, and award winning design that optimizes patient comfort and workflow. Sentinelle Medical is a privately owned Canadian company. Sentinelle Medical’s newest product is the Vanguard for Siemens Tabletop System, for conducting Breast Magnetic Resonance (MR) scans and biopsies on a Siemens MR unit. The system, in conjunction with the Siemens patient stretcher, includes specialized radio frequency coils and data processing. By providing high quality images (different than those obtained from mammograms and X-rays) the system offers a quick and easy way to spot certain cancerous lesions in breasts. Sentinelle’s imaging and interventional computer software, Aegis with Bright 2.0, aids in the guidance of biopsy procedures and allows the radiologist to view and manipulate the MR images in three dimensions.

About Kingston General Hospital (
Affiliated with Queen’s University, Kingston General Hospital is a 456-bed teaching hospital that serves more than 500,000 people in southeastern Ontario and is the community hospital for the Kingston area. KGH provides an array of specialized acute and ambulatory clinical services including trauma, cardiac, stroke, pediatric, perinatal, end stage renal and stem cell transplants. Home to the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario, KGH is dedicated to compassionate, high quality health care in a dynamic academic research environment. It features a robust research program and provides hands-on skill training for 1,900 health care students annually.

About HTX.CA – The Health Technology Exchange (
From Invention through to Innovation to International Invoice, HTX helps Ontario-based companies develop and commercialize innovations in Medical and Assistive Technologies (MAT). Our core programs and services include Research & Development and Commercialization and Market Development, which assists the MAT sector from product evaluation, company creation and commercialization to international market readiness. HTX is an independent, not-for-profit corporation funded by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Research and Innovation.

Posted Aug. 27/09.