Wednesday, May 28, 2008

$250 Million Damages in Boston Scientific Patent Case Awarded To Medtronic

Medtronic Awarded $250 Million Damages in Patent Case against Boston Scientific

Federal jury in Marshall, Texas, finds that Boston Scientific Corporation infringed three patents owned by Medtronic

MINNEAPOLIS-- May 27, 2008 --Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) today announced that a federal jury found that Boston Scientific Corporation has infringed three patents owned by Medtronic, and awarded Medtronic $250 million in damages.

Medtronic sued Boston Scientific in 2006 asserting that Boston's Taxus Express2, Express2, Liberte, Maverick, Maverick2, and Quantum Maverick products infringed the Fitzmaurice and Anderson catheter patents owned by Medtronic. The trial began on Friday, May 16, 2008.

The Fitzmaurice patents cover angioplasty catheters with narrowed distal ends, which improve the deliverability of angioplasty catheters. The Anderson patent covers semicompliant angioplasty balloons. The Anderson balloons provide sufficient strength to withstand repeated inflations allowing custom vessel sizing.

About Medtronic

Medtronic, Inc. (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology - alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people around the world.

Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended April 27, 2007. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.

Contacts


Medtronic, Inc.
Public Relations
Marybeth Thorsgaard, 763-505-2644
or
Investor Relations
Jeff Warren, 763-505-2696

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Johns Hopkins Health Alerts Offers Heart-Smart Advice For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Your Heart: Johns Hopkins Health Alerts Offers Heart-Smart Advice

Johns Hopkins Health Alerts reports on the latest findings on the causes of rheumatoid arthritis, and how it can affect your heart, leading to increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and thus decreased life expectancy.

New York, NY  - March 18, 2008 -- In a recent issue of The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Bulletin, Johns Hopkins specialists reported on the latest research regarding the link between rheumatoid arthritis and heart health.

With rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammation that damages joints also takes a toll on the heart. Johns Hopkins specialists offer bottom line advice on how to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle to combat the effects of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and its accompanying inflammation.

BEING HEART-SMART WITH RA
People with rheumatoid arthritis understandably focus on caring for their joints. But their most serious health risk involves their heart.

Compared to the general population, rheumatoid arthritis patients have a significantly increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and a shorter life expectancy.

RA AND YOUR HEART: THE RISKS
Here are some of the findings from recent studies about the link between rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease:

* Heart attacks are twice as common among women with rheumatoid arthritis as among those without the disease.
* Atherosclerosis ("hardening of the arteries") starts early and progresses more rapidly in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
* Carotid artery blockages (a risk factor for stroke) are three times more common in people with rheumatoid arthritis than in people without the disease (44% vs. 15%).
* Cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, occur about 10 years earlier in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
* Mortality is higher among rheumatoid arthritis patients after a first heart attack.
* Blood vessel damage is often already apparent at the time of rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.
* Heart attacks in rheumatoid arthritis patients are more likely to be silent or to occur without the typical symptoms, and they more often result in sudden cardiac death.
* Congestive heart failure (weakening of the heart's pumping ability) is more common among people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Researchers have identified several links between rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease. Inflammation is believed to be the most important of these.

THE ROLE OF INFLAMMATION IN ATHEROSCLEROSIS
Cardiologists now understand that inflammation plays a crucial role in the onset of atherosclerosis. They believe that an injury to the inner lining of the arteries (the endothelium) triggers an immune response, sending immune system cells rushing to repair the damage.

THE EFFECTS OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION ON YOUR ARTERIES
But in chronic inflammatory states such as rheumatoid arthritis, the immune response doesn't shut off after the injury heals. The accumulating immune system cells attract deposits of cholesterol, blood platelets, cellular debris, and calcium, which clump together to form plaque.

As plaque deposits grow, they restrict blood flow through the artery. If the plaque ruptures, clots can break away and travel to the heart or brain, where they may cause a heart attack or a stroke.

BOTTOM LINE ADVICE: WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STAY HEART-SMART EVEN IF YOU HAVE RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
The relationship between rheumatoid arthritis and the heart is complex, and rheumatologists still have a great deal to learn about how to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease among people who have rheumatoid arthritis.

For now, it's important to do everything possible to reduce the traditional risk factors for heart disease and stroke:
smoking, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Getting regular exercise and losing extra pounds (even a 5-10% weight reduction is beneficial) will help your joints as well as your heart. Monitor your blood pressure and have your cholesterol levels checked regularly.

Also, ask your physician about the possibility of taking a low-dose aspirin each day to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

In addition, the cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins--atorvastatin (Lipitor) and others--not only help the heart, but also have modest beneficial effects on rheumatoid arthritis-related inflammation. If your doctor hasn't already suggested a statin drug for your heart health, you might ask about it.

This information is exceprted from The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Bulletin:
Johns Hopkins Arthritis Bulletin

Johns Hopkins Health Alerts publishes free email newsletters on arthritis at:
Johns Hopkins Arthritis Health Alerts

And on heart health at:
Johns Hopkins Heart Health Alerts

For the latest research on Heart Health and Heart Attack Prevention, see the new 2008 Johns Hopkins White Paper: Heart Attack Prevention at: Johns Hopkins White Paper Heart Attack Prevention

To get a copy of the free special report "Johns Hopkins 7 Keys to Reduce Cholesterol," please visit:
Johns Hopkins 7 Keys to Reduce Cholesterol

Press Contact: JOAN MULLALLY
Company Name: Johns Hopkins Health Alerts
Phone: 917-640-4362
Website:
http://www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com

Monday, May 26, 2008

Should Mesothelioma Victims Call A Mesothelioma Victims Center?

Mesothelioma Victims Should Call Americas Watchdog's Mesothelioma Victims Center

If you are a victim of Mesothelioma or a family member friend of a victim Americas Watchdog is there for you. Americas Watchdog has created the Mesothelioma Victims Center as a free service to victims or family members of victims, of a rare form of cancer called Mesothelioma. Americas Watchdog has initiated this very complete free service because there was literally nothing close to this type of service in the United States and because this type of service is sorely needed by Mesothelioma victims and their families. The Mesothelioma Victims Center was created to assist victims & their families in every way possible

April 21, 2008 -- Americas Watchdog has created the most wonderful service for victims or family members of victims of Mesothelioma. Until a family member was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, Americas Watchdog had never heard of this disease or knew much about it. Mesothelioma is a rare and lethal form of cancer. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. The group never realized that there was no safety net for victims, to get help from the government. They did not know how difficult it might be to get veterans benefits or social security benefits. Americas Watchdog also discovered that it is critical for victims of this lethal disease to get proper legal representation. They have designed the Mesothelioma Victims Center to be the national advocacy center for the victims and family members of Mesothelioma.Their service is free. The web site is located at http://MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.com.

Their services include:
* Assisting the victims obtain Social Security permanent disability payments
* If the victim is a veteran and was exposed to asbestos during military duty, we will work with the victim and his/her family in obtaining veterans disability and health care benefits.
* We will assist the family in getting the best possible
health care options
* We will assist the victim in
getting legal representation.
* We will assist the victim and their family in getting counseling on a wide variety of topics that arise from this
disease.
A victim of Mesothelioma or their family can call the group any time at 866-714-6466.

Who Can Get Mesothelioma? Individuals exposed to asbestos. As Follows
* Individuals who served in the US Navy. Especially Navy personnel who served in or around naval ship engine rooms.
* Members of the US Army, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard.
* Naval ship yard workers
* Ship yard workers
* Automotive repair specialists
* Construction workers
* Plumbers
* Demolition contractors
 
 
Because no other group is providing this full range of services and because victims and their families need assistance in these areas, Americas Watchdog is doing this at no charge because its the right thing to do. Americas Watchdog's Mesothelioma Victims Center web site is located at Http://MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com . Any one wishing more information can call the Mesothelioma Victims Center anytime at 866-714-6466.

Americas Watchdog and its Mesothelioma Victims Center are all about taking care of precious souls in need and corporate responsibility.

Press Contact: THOMAS MARTIN
Company Name: Americas Watchdog
Phone: 866-714-6466
Website:
Http://MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mesothelioma Blog Reports on Man Fired for Reporting Asbestos Cleanup

LegalView Mesothelioma Blog Reports on Whistleblower Who Was Allegedly Fired for Reporting Improper Asbestos Cleanup to Authorities

LegalView recently updated its mesothelioma blog to include reports of a whistleblower being fired after he reported improper asbestos cleanup. The worker who refused to sign off on the demolition of the school was dismissed from his job duties permanently after he reported the improper procedure cleanup to officials.

Denver, CO  -  April 18, 2008 -- LegalView, the number one resource for everything legal on the Web, recently updated its mesothelioma blog with news of the firing of an alleged whistleblower who attempted to report improper asbestos cleanup of a local high school. The city worker was part of a crew that was to demolition an old schoolhouse. The worker allegedly told city managers that the schoolhouse was filled with asbestos and would be hazardous if improper asbestos removal procedures were not followed. However, after the worker refused to sign off on the demolition and spoke out, he was fired, according to reports.

Asbestos is a hazardous chemical that is often found in insulation of many older buildings including government buildings, offices, homes, apartments, universities and schools. It is derived of vermiculite, which was heavily mined early on in the 20th century throughout the world. Asbestos was revered for its qualities of being cost efficient and its ability to insulate sufficiently without catching on fire as easily as other insulations. However, it was discovered that breathing in asbestos fibers and dust caused a deadly form of lung cancer to develop. Additionally, areas that currently contain asbestos must follow strict procedures and methods from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for removal, otherwise asbestos fibers will likely be released into the air and contaminate surrounding areas and individuals. Those who feel they have been previously exposed to asbestos fibers should contact a mesothelioma lawyer for immediate assistance on building a case.

Mesothelioma cancer can take years to develop and is incurable. It is often misdiagnosed, as symptoms of mesothelioma cancer are similar to many other illnesses. Individuals who have contracted mesothelioma should speak with an experienced medical attorney and receive a consultation on a potential mesothelioma lawsuit. To learn more about this recent mesothelioma blog posting as well as additional up-to-date news, reports and information on recent mesothelioma jury verdicts, visit http://mesothelioma.legalview.com/.

In addition to the extensive mesothelioma information portal, LegalView offers information on an assortment of other legal issues that may disrupt the lives of millions of Americans. Information on issues such as pharmaceutical investigations, including the latest Singulair recall, preventable conditions like Erb's Palsy, diseases, illnesses, accidents, chemical exposure, employment discrimination, etc.

LegalView even provides news on the most recent traumatic brain injury treatments, available through LegalView's Web site. Also on the brain injury site, readers can find information on what may be involved with filing a brain injury lawsuit.

On the Singulair practice area, readers will be able to access the latest news on the prescription drug, which had been under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after reports began to surface about Singulair side effects that can allegedly include moodiness, suicidal behaviors and thoughts.

Additionally, using the Erb's Palsy information portal will provide victims and their families insight into the cause of their condition as well as opportunities for developing an Erb's Palsy lawsuit for potential monetary compensation to help pay for costly medical bills commonly associated with this condition. Erb's Palsy can be a debilitating condition and is usually preventable. It is associated with birth-canal complications that have occurred when an infant's shoulders or head became lodged, causing damage to the nerve system controlling arm movement. While Erb's Palsy often can clear on its own through time, many individuals still require physical therapy and many will need surgery to fix their condition. Those who suffer from this disease are advised to use LegalView's site to easily be referred to a qualified Erb's Palsy lawyer.

About LegalView:
LegalView.com is a public service brought to you by Legal WebTV Network, LLC, a Limited Liability Corporation created by a group of the nation's most highly respected law firms: Anapol Schwartz; Brent Coon and Associates; Burg Simpson; Cohen, Placitella and Roth; James F. Humphreys and Associates; Lopez McHugh; and Thornton and Naumes. For more information on the accomplishments and track records of LegalView.com's superior sponsoring law firms and to get in touch with LegalView attorneys, visit LegalView at
www.LegalView.com.

Press Contact: Katie Kelley
Company Name: LegalView
Phone: 720-771-3246
Website:
http://mesothelioma.legalview.com

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Center to Assist All Victims of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma Victims Center to Assist All Victims of Mesothelioma

Americas Watchdog has created the Mesothelioma Victims Center as a free service to victims or family members of victims, of a rare form of cancer called Mesothelioma. Americas Watchdog has initiated this very complete free service because there was literally nothing close to this type of service in the United States and because this type of service is sorely needed by Mesothelioma victims and their families. The Mesothelioma Victims Center was created to assist victims & their families in every way possible.

April 16, 2008 -- Americas Watchdog has just opened its Mesothelioma Victims Center, as a way to assist and protect victims of a rare form of cancer called Mesothelioma. The service is free to Mesothelioma victims or their families.

Until a family member was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, Americas Watchdog had never heard of this disease or knew much about it. Mesothelioma is a rare and lethal form of cancer. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. The group never realized that there was no safety net for victims, to get help from the government. They did not know how difficult it might be to get veterans benefits or social security benefits. Americas Watchdog also discovered that it is critical for victims of this lethal disease to get proper legal representation. They have designed the Mesothelioma Victims Center to be the national advocacy center for the victims and family members of Mesothelioma.Their service is free.

Their services include:
* Assisting the victims obtain Social Security permanent disability payments
* If the victim is a veteran and was exposed to asbestos during military duty, we will work with the victim and his/her family in obtaining veterans disability and health care benefits.
* We will assist the family in getting the best possible health care options
* We will assist the victim in getting legal representation.
* We will assist the victim and their family in getting counseling on a wide variety of topics that arise from this disease. A victim of Mesothelioma or their family can call the group any time at 866-714-6466.

Who Can Get Mesothelioma?

* Individuals who served in the US Navy. Especially Navy personnel who served in or around naval ship engine rooms.
* Members of the US Army, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard.
* Naval shop yard workers
* Ship yard workers
* Automotive repair specialists
* Construction workers
* Plumbers
* Demolition contractors

Because no other group is providing this full range of services and because victims and their families need assistance in these areas, Americas Watchdog is doing this at no charge because its the right thing to do. Americas Watchdog's Mesothelioma Victims Center web site is located at Http://MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com . Any one wishing more information can call the Mesothelioma Victims Center anytime at 866-714-6466.

Americas Watchdog and its Mesothelioma Victims Center are all about taking care of precious souls in need and corporate responsibility.

Press Contact: THOMAS MARTIN
Company Name: Americas Watchdog
Phone: 866-714-6466
Website:
http://MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Risk Stratification Trials Unveiled

Major Sudden Cardiac Arrest Risk Stratification Trials Unveiled

Medtronic-Supported Research Efforts Commencing to Better Determine Which At-Risk Patients - Inside and Outside of Currently Indicated Populations - May Benefit Most from ICD Therapy


MINNEAPOLIS & SAN FRANCISCO-- May 14, 2008 --Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT), along with several partners, today announced details of several major clinical trials aimed at developing and validating new and innovative risk stratification tools to predict which post-myocardial infarction (MI, or heart attack) patients are at greatest risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Medtronic's industry-leading research efforts aim to further advance the base of clinical evidence for implanted cardiac device therapies to ensure those patients at greatest risk of SCA are protected.

"We are on the cusp of new discoveries in clinical cardiology. These trials will utilize advanced innovations in technology and research, spanning novel diagnostics to genomics," said David M. Steinhaus, M.D., vice president and medical director of the Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management business at Medtronic. "Medtronic is proud to have partnered with leading researchers worldwide to apply these scientific innovations in an effort to better understand which patients may benefit from implantable medical therapies."

About Medtronic-Supported Risk Stratification Research Trials

    * VEST / PREDICTS (The Vest Prevention of Early Sudden Death Trial / The Prediction of ICD Therapies Study), is a multicenter, randomized controlled trial designed to test a strategy to reduce the early post-MI sudden cardiac arrest risk, followed by an observational cohort study to develop and validate a tool to determine which patients will benefit most from an ICD two months post-MI.

The VEST portion of the study will test the hypothesis that a non-invasive, wearable automatic defibrillator vest will reduce overall mortality in the first 60 days following an MI in patients with LVEF ?35 percent. The PREDICTS portion of the study aims to develop and validate a tool that predicts the occurrence of spontaneous "treatable" ventricular arrhythmias up to five years post-MI, and identify high-risk patients in whom an ICD would be most cost-effective. Study participants will receive either an ICD or Medtronic Reveal® DX insertable cardiac monitor (ICM) to ascertain data on ICD-treatable arrhythmic events.

VEST / PREDICTS is part of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant awarded to the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) and is co-funded by Medtronic, GE Healthcare, and Zoll. It will involve up to 60 centers and more than 4,500 patients in the United States, Canada and Europe.

"The VEST / PREDICTS study is intended to address the two key deficiencies in our current post-MI treatment strategy, which include 1) the untreated high sudden death rate in the early post-MI period and 2) the non-specific nature of ejection fraction to predict spontaneous ventricular arrhythmias and ICD shocks," said Jeff Olgin, M.D., principal investigator for VEST / PREDICTS, and chief of cardiac electrophysiology and professor of medicine at UCSF. "This important study will define a clear pathway to identify those patients who benefit most from ICDs."

    * The objective of Medtronic's GAME (Genetic Arrhythmia Markers for Early Detection) trial is to determine if genetic markers can be used to identify individuals with an increased susceptibility to SCA. Involving 1,000 patients at more than 30 sites in the 48 contiguous United States, GAME will study cardiac events retrospectively to potentially develop a genetic risk scoring system to determine which patients would benefit from an ICD. The first patient enrollment in GAME recently took place at Arkansas Cardiology Clinic in Little Rock, Ark.

"We are about to enter a new era of medicine, one in which so much will eventually be individualized, including prevention and therapy," said Eric Topol, M.D., principal investigator of the GAME trial and chief academic officer at Scripps Health in San Diego. "Genomics has already had a major impact on the treatment of cancer and many other diseases. Now we're looking at genomics of patients with arrhythmias as a way to more precisely treat this important type of heart disease."

    * Also underway is the Medtronic-supported DISCOVERY (Diagnostic Data Influence on Disease Management and Relation of Genetic Polymorphisms to Ventricular Tachyarrhythmias in ICD Patients) trial, involving nearly 1,300 patients at approximately 80 centers in Europe. DISCOVERY is a non-randomized, prospective, multicenter study and is composed of two parts. The first is double-blinded and collects data on genetic polymorphisms and potential prognostic of ventricular and atrial tachyarrhythmias. The second part evaluates the influence of dual chamber ICD-based diagnostic information on long-term patient management and treatment.

Further, Medtronic is committed to ongoing study of Microvolt T-Wave Alternans (MTWA) and other risk markers that will further advance the understanding of how to better identify patients at risk for SCA. MTWA is being studied in the MASTER trial, of which data has previously been presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007 and American College of Cardiology's Scientific Sessions 2008, and will be presented at Heart Rhythm 2008, the Heart Rhythm Society's 29th Annual Scientific Sessions. Medtronic will continue to explore the potential of MTWA, as evidenced in these aforementioned risk stratification studies.

About Medtronic

Medtronic, Inc. (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology - alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people around the world.

Notes to editors: To arrange interviews on VEST/PREDICTS with representatives from the University of California-San Francisco, please contact Corinna Kaarlela at 415-476-2557; or GE, contact Corey Miller at 414-469-5499 (cell) or Corey.Miller@ge.com

VEST/PREDICTS disclaimer: The information stated above was prepared by Medtronic Inc. to report research strategies and reflects solely the opinion of Medtronic. Nothing in this statement shall be construed to imply any support or endorsement of Medtronic or any of its products by the Regents of the University of California, its officers, agents and employees.

Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended April 27, 2007. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.

Contacts

Medtronic, Inc.
Public Relations:
Tracy McNulty, 763-526-2492
On-site at HRS: 612-819-2190
or
Investor Relations:
Jeff Warren, 763-505-2696
On-site at HRS: 612-819-7630

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New IT Media Disposal Program From Kroll Ontrack

Kroll Ontrack Goes Green with a New IT Media Disposal Program

Erasure and Recycling Services Help Businesses and Individuals Safeguard Critical Information and the Environment


MINNEAPOLIS--  May 13, 2008 --Kroll Ontrack®, the leading provider of data recovery and legal technologies products and services, today announced a new media disposal program to help businesses and individuals safely dispose of their end-of-lifecycle hard drives in an environmentally conscious way. This fast, secure and convenient erasure and disposal service allows organizations and individuals to protect one of their most important assets - their data.

Kroll Ontrack's media disposal program is comprised of two steps:

Data Erasing Solutions: Kroll Ontrack offers two solutions that completely remove all traces of information stored on storage media and a verification service that ensures no traces of information can be recovered from the media following an erasure procedure.

    * Ontrack Eraser software: An easy-to-use, highly flexible data erasure software tool, Ontrack® Eraser, uses overwriting procedures to permanently remove data and meet the most stringent standards for data removal.
    * Ontrack Eraser services: A convenient, end-of-lifecycle service performed by Kroll Ontrack specialists that offers complete removal of your data using a "degausser," a hardware device that destroys data using strong magnetic fields.

Media Disposal Services: Kroll Ontrack's environmentally friendly media disposal service ensures certain media is disposed of in a method that protects both the owner of the stored data and the environment. Technicians dismantle the devices removing good parts for re-use prior to disposal of the storage media. All other hard drive and storage device components are turned over to Kroll Ontrack's recycling vendor that separates materials such as metals, circuit boards, copper wiring and aluminum into different commodities that are recycled and re-used for other products. Any left over materials are discarded in a manner that ensures no materials are deposited in landfills or incinerators. Specifically, they are disassembled using an optimal mix of physical and mechanical demanufacturing techniques to separate out hazardous materials from recyclable components.

"With this service, customers now have a convenient means to make sure their media does not fall into the wrong hands and is disposed of in a method that will not harm the environment," said Jim Reinert, vice president of software and services, Kroll Ontrack. "This is especially critical as both businesses and home users are looking for a safe and easy way to get rid of their mounting end-of-lifecycle machines."

From more information regarding this service visit www.ontrackdatarecovery.com.

About Kroll Ontrack Inc.

Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers recover, search, analyze, produce and present data efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack provides data recovery, advanced search, paper and electronic discovery, computer forensics, ESI consulting, and trial consulting and presentation services. Kroll Ontrack is a technology services division of Kroll Inc., the global risk consulting company. For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its offerings please visit: www.krollontrack.com; www.ontrackdatarecovery.com; www.engeniumsearch.com; www.trialgraphix.com.
Contacts

Kroll Ontrack
Kaitlin Creager, 952-516-3581
kcreager@krollontrack.com

Oral Cancer Now Covered under Specialty Benefits Dental Plans

`Early Warning' for Oral Cancer Now Covered under UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits Dental Plans

Coverage Applies to New Screening Test Used by Dentists

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.-- May 13, 2008 --UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits now provides coverage under all of its insured dental plans for a new oral cancer screening test for potential abnormalities inside the mouth, including premalignant lesions and oral cancer.

The test, which uses light-contrast technology, can improve a dentist's ability to identify, evaluate and monitor lesions that are difficult to see using visual inspection under conventional lighting.

"Evidence shows that dentists can serve as a valuable 'early warning' system for patients who have signs of oral cancer," said Dr. Michael Weitzner, vice president of clinical product development for UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits dental unit.

More than 34,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. The death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high - not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development. Studies confirm that survival does correlate with stage, making early diagnosis and treatment optimal for this disease and may have a positive impact on an individual's medical costs (Journal of the American Dental Association, Vol. 132, Nov. 2001).

By covering this type of oral cancer screening, UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits dental unit is renewing its longstanding commitment to early detection of oral cancer. In addition to oral cancer screening, UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits dental plans have covered brush biopsies since 2005 when the American Dental Association first introduced a current dental terminology (CDT) code for the procedure. Screening is covered once a year for individuals, starting at age 30. UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits' focus on wellness continues to build programs and plan enhancements that promote individuals' ability to better manage their overall health as well as their future medical and dental costs.

About UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits

UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits offers a broad array of specialty benefits, including vision, dental, group and voluntary insurance, worksite individual insurance and non-insurance programs. UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits is a business unit of OptumHealth, the health and wellness unit of UnitedHealth Group, Inc. (NYSE:UNH). More information about OptumHealth can be found at www.optumhealth.com/.

Contacts

OptumHealth
Ann Fleischauer, Director, External Communications
763-797-2652

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tiny Computer Runs Linux, Development Tools, Controls, and Servers for $80

$80 Tiny Computer Runs Linux, Development Tools, Controls, and Servers

US embedded hardware OEM KwikByte is shipping a low-cost, tiny embedded system designed for general purpose computing, embedded controls, and database/web servers. KwikByte demonstrated the system running open-source packages such as Apache, MySQL, and PostgreSQL within a Debian environment.

Tempe, AZ  -  March 12, 2008 -- US embedded hardware OEM KwikByte demonstrated a complete, embedded Debian environment and applications running on a power-conscious, microcontroller-based system. The system is designed for general purpose computing, embedded controls, remote monitoring, and server applications.

The board used for the demonstration, KwikByte's KB9260, is based on the AT91SAM9260 microcontroller. The controller's small footprint reduces system size while the low power consumption allows the board to be powered by Power over Ethernet – PoE also known as IEEE 802.3af. By using PoE, a single Ethernet connection to the board can provide power as well as network connectivity. This minimizes facility installation costs.

The board supports minimal configurations like BusyBox and uClibc as well as larger installations like Debian. The Debian development kit was shown running a controls application built and debugged on the board (screen shot attached). No tools were required on a host PC as the system exports a virtual display over Ethernet. This configuration resides entirely within on-board Flash. The dev kit includes schematics and the board ships with recent Linux kernel, currently 2.6.24.

The number of general purpose I/O (GPIO) combined with programmable clocks, serial channels, analog input channels, and timer/counter/PWM channels make it ideal for embedded controls applications. Additionally, the USB host power supply was designed to provide extra power for most USB hard drives. Applications that require very large storage space are only limited by the size of an external hard disk and the entire system can be powered over the Ethernet cable.

System Details
- AT91SAM9260, ARM926EJ-S 200MHz
- 32/64 MB SDRAM
- 8 MB boot Flash
- 256 MB – 2 GB NAND Flash
- 10/100 Ethernet
- 1 x USB 2.0 host port
- 35 x GPIO, max
- 3 x serial channels including debug serial
- 4 x programmable clocks
- 3 x timer/counter/PWM channels
- 4 x analog input ADC channels
- Power options: Power over Ethernet, on-board voltage regulator, or external power supply
- Size: 3.1" x 3.1"

Availability
The KB9260 is shipping now with volume pricing of $79.99. A WinCE port is also available.

About KwikByte
KwikByte designs and manufactures embedded hardware systems. Founded in 2003, KwikByte is located in Tempe, AZ.

Press Contact: KwikByte
Company Name:
Phone: 480-303-7475
Website:
www.kwikbyte.com

Practice-Changing Clinical Data Anticipated By Medtronic

Medtronic Anticipates 'Practice-Changing' Clinical Data for Interventional Cardiologists at EuroPCR

ENDEAVOR II Four-Year Results, Updated ENDEAVOR Pooled Safety Analysis, One-Year Results from E-Five Registry and TAPAS Trial - All Feature on Meeting's Scientific Program

MINNEAPOLIS-- May 12, 2008 --Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT), today announced plans for the release of new clinical data on the Endeavor® Zotarolimus-Eluting Coronary Stent System and the Export® Aspiration Catheter at EuroPCR in Barcelona this week, May 13-16.

"New data from the ENDEAVOR clinical program and the TAPAS trial have the potential to be practice-changing for interventional cardiology," said Prof. Anthony Gershlick of University Hospitals of Leicester in the UK. "As the evidence from this clinical research continues to build, it shows more and more definitively the advantages of the Endeavor drug-eluting stent for a broad range of patients with coronary artery disease and of thrombus aspiration with the Export Aspiration Catheter for a specific group of patients suffering myocardial infarction."

A summary of the data presentations related to Medtronic's product portfolio for interventional cardiology at EuroPCR follows:

    * On Tuesday, May 13, the late-breaking clinical trials session from 15:30 - 18:30 in Room 1 includes presentations by:

- Dr. Jean Fajadet (at approximately 15:45) of the four-year results from ENDEAVOR II, a prospective, randomized, multicenter, controlled trial that compared the Endeavor drug-eluting stent to the Driver bare-metal stent.
                                                        
- Prof. Bart de Smet (at approximately 16:30) of one-year results from TAPAS, a single-center trial designed to evaluate the effect of thrombus aspiration preceding percutaneous coronary intervention by using the Export Aspiration Catheter in patients with acute myocardial infarction.

    * On Thursday, May 15, the Medtronic-sponsored symposium titled "Patients and Stents: Learning and Progress," 5:00 - 6:30 pm in Room 1, features presentations by:

- Prof. Martin Rothman on the one-year results of 8,300 patients in E-Five, an international registry that investigated the performance of the Endeavor drug-eluting stent in routine clinical practice.
                                                        
- Prof. Ian Meredith on the updated ENDEAVOR pooled safety analysis, which includes 2,132 Endeavor patients (from ENDEAVOR I, II, II continued access, III and IV) - 678 of whom have now been followed for four years, 1,271 for three years, 1,290 for two and 2,093 patients for one year.

All times are local to Barcelona. Room numbers are for The Forum CCIB Convention Center, the venue for EuroPCR.

"The data we're presenting this week at EuroPCR illustrate the depth of innovation within the CardioVascular business at Medtronic and the growing breadth of our offering to interventional cardiologists," said Scott Ward, senior vice president of Medtronic and president of the CardioVascular business. "We are particularly excited to share the long-term results from the ENDEAVOR clinical program, which continue to illustrate significant performance advantages for patients and physicians, positioning Medtronic for market leadership in coronary stents."

In addition to attending these data presentations and other educational and scientific sessions, EuroPCR participants are encouraged to visit the Medtronic exhibit (booth #D04), which will feature highlights of the company's current and future cardiovascular innovations, including the:

    * Endeavor and Endeavor Resolute Zotarolimus-Eluting Coronary Stent Systems
    * Sprinter Legend Balloon Catheter
    * Export XT Aspiration Catheter
    * Defender Embolic Protection Filter
    * Complete SE (Self-Expanding) Peripheral Stent
    * Assurant Cobalt Balloon-Expandable Iliac Stent
    * Melody Transcatheter Pulmonic Heart Valve

Information on Medtronic's programs designed to foster "Innovation through Collaboration" in the fields of educational development (Academia) and clinical science (Scientia) will also be available at EuroPCR.

"As the trend of closer collaboration across medical specialties continues, our CardioVascular business is uniquely positioned to forge the partnerships necessary to find novel solutions to unmet patient needs," Ward added. "As the theme of our EuroPCR exhibit, 'Better Together,' suggests, we know from decades of experience the profound power of collaboration with the clinical community in the service of patients with chronic diseases."

About Medtronic

Medtronic, Inc. (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology - alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people around the world.

Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended April 27, 2007. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.

Contacts

Medtronic, Inc.
Joe McGrath, 707-591-7367 (Public Relations)
Jeff Warren, 763-505-2696 (Investor Relations)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Working Capital Finance Services for Growing Companies

Far West Capital Announces Working Capital Finance Services for Growing Companies

Texas-based factoring company provides working capital financing services for customers across the United States, through accounts receivable factoring, asset-based lending and similar services.

Cedar Park, TX  -  October 12, 2007 -- Small businesses in need of working capital financing have a new option. Far West Capital provides invoice factoring, asset based lending, and similar services designed to provide growing companies with much-needed working capital. Based in Texas, the company serves customers nationwide.

Far West Capital is a specialty finance company that provides highly customized working capital services to small and medium-sized companies. These services can benefit any business with accounts receivable (invoices) that needs capital for sustained operation and continued growth. Companies can use the working capital they obtain through this service for a variety of business needs -- material acquisition, operating capital, turnaround financing, recapitalization and more.

Working Capital Finance, Explained

Working capital refers to liquid assets a company has with which to operate. By extension, working capital financing refers to various financial services that provide businesses with the capital they need to maintain their operations.

"Essentially, we provide companies with the cash flow they need to keep their businesses going," said Cole Harmonson, the company's president, "so our primary service is referred to as working capital financing."

Far West Capital provides financing through several channels:
* Factoring of Accounts Receivable - Customers sell their outstanding invoices or receivables in exchange for cash / working capital for their business. Also commonly referred to as invoice factoring services.
* Asset Based Lending - Customers present a borrowing base, which consists of their existing and ongoing accounts receivable and inventory. The customer then receives funding upon presentation of that base.
* Purchase Order Financing - Far West Capital assumes the customer's purchase orders in exchange for cash / working capital for their business.

A Factoring Company With a Difference

Leading Far West Capital is Cole Harmonson, who has more than 11 years' experience in the world of working capital financing and factoring. Harmonson explained what it is that makes Far West Capital different from other factoring companies within the working capital finance industry:

"We customize the relationship based on the needs of our clients. A lot of factoring companies preach that, but we practice it as well. Each client is different, so we start the process with this in mind, and then we create a financing solution around their individual needs. It's challenging for us, but it helps us differentiate our company by providing a more flexible service to clients."

Like Harmonson, the other members of Far West Capital are equally experienced in the world of working capital finance. In fact, the entire Far West team formerly worked together managing the Working Capital Finance Group of State Bank. Combined, the team has more than 25 years' experience with accounts receivable financing, invoice factoring, and other aspects of working capital.

An Educational Approach to Finance

Far West Capital also takes an educational approach to their business. Their website is packed with information that explains their services, and they've even started a working capital blog (a first of its kind) to further educate potential customers on the ins and outs of working capital financing. Visit the blog at http://www.farwestcap.com/blog/

"A lot of companies need our services without even realizing it," Harmonson explained. "They want to convert their accounts receivable into working cash flow, but they don't know how to go about it. Some have never even heard of factoring. That's one of the reasons we focus so heavily on customer education ... to connect our services with the needs of our potential customers."

About the Company
Far West Capital provides working capital to growing companies through accounts receivable and inventory financing tools. Based in Cedar Park, Texas, the company serves growing businesses across the United States. To learn more about the company and their financial services, please call or visit them online:

www.FarWestCap.com
info(at)farwestcap.com
512-528-1490

Safe Harbor Statement:
This release includes forward-looking statements about the company's products and services. All such forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties that could cause actual products and services to differ from those in forward-looking statements.

Press Contact: Melissa Cornett
Company Name: Far West Capital
Phone: (512) 528-1629
Website:
http://www.farwestcap.com

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Senior Care Professional Online Education Upgrades Affiliate Program

EasyCEU.com Upgrades Affiliate Program for Online Education

Published on: May 7th, 2008 04:23pm by: SKBrothers

EasyCEU.com, specialists in online training for senior care professionals, launched an upgraded affiliate program today. EasyCEU's program provides nationally accredited continuing education courses for senior care administrators, managers and nurses and other licensed senior care professionals.

Oregon City, OR (OPENPRESS) May 8, 2008 -- The upgraded affiliate program offers very generous commissions for referrals to continuing education courses on a per sale basis. Affiliates can now not only have easy access to custom links for their sites, but with this upgrade they can promote specific and individual courses or even develop a virtual course catalog.

"The time has never been better to align yourself as an affiliate with EasyCEU.com as we are experiencing our largest growth rate in history," explains Wendy Finch, VP Business Development. "We have excellent profitable relationships with healthcare associations through our Partnership Program, and upgrading our affiliate program seemed like an obvious next step to help us increase awareness of our courses and products."

"Through this program reputable companies or individuals who work with senior care professionals can quickly and easily provide information about needed continuing education courses, and earn commissions at the same time. Any company with a website who markets to the senior care industry is a candidate." notes Finch. The affiliate program has proven to be especially useful to professionals who provide seminars or classroom-based training to this population, allowing them to enter the e-learning field without expensive course development or delivery costs.

"Distance education, also known as e-learning or online training, is becoming the product of choice for today's busy senior care professionals," says Finch. "Not only are these individuals expected to accomplish more in less time, but they are also feeling the pinch of travel costs as well. Saving time and money by reducing expensive conference, seminars or classroom training is an obvious step for many in senior care."

EasyCEU courses are available in the areas of care for individuals with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, senior care and management, ethics, death and dying, and cultural competencies as well as other topics related to senior care.

Affiliates are screened and accepted into this program from a variety of sites that provide services to this group of professionals.

For more details and an affiliate application visit the EasyCEU website at www.EasyCEU.com and click on the Partner/Affiliate link, or call 877-843-8374.

About
EasyCEU.com is a division of the Institute for Senior Living Education (ISLE-ed.com) a company developed, owned and operated by senior care professionals who have a unique understanding of the training and support needs of individuals who have devoted their careers to senior care. EasyCEU (EasyCEU.com), offers anytime, anywhere web-based courses and continuing education credits for assisted living and nursing home administrators, nurses and managers. All courses are approved by the National Continuing Education Review Services of the National Association of Boards of Examiners of Long Term Care Administrators (NCERS/NAB), as well as by the numerous state licensing boards. Its instructors are professional healthcare and senior care educators and providers. aQuire Training Solutions (aQuireTraining.com) another ISLE-ed product, provides online staff training especially designed to not only meet licensing compliance needs but also to improve quality of care, build stronger staffing teams and reduce staff turnover. ISLE-ed is also launching a new product, Apply2Care (Apply2Care.com) which will help providers utilize internet capabilities for recruitment of new employees.
Release Information

Industry: Education

Country: United States

MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area): Portland-Vancouver, OR-WA

Company: aQuire Training & EasyCEU.com

Web site:
Visit our web site

Monday, May 05, 2008

Anti-counterfeit Drug Analyzer Provides Real-time Analysis

Briefcase-sized Portable Anti-counterfeit Drug Analyzer Provides Real-time Analysis Anywhere, Anytime

ASD Inc. introduces the RxSpec® 700Z -- a powerful new weapon in the Pharmaceutical Industry's war on counterfeit drugs. User-friendly system provides non-destructive, on-the-spot lab quality analysis for field agents from industry, government, and law enforcement world-wide.

Boulder, CO - May 1, 2008 --- ASD Inc. introduces the RxSpec® 700Z anti-counterfeit drug analyzer (
http://www.asdi.com/products-rxspec700z.asp), a lightweight fully-portable lab-quality system contained in a rugged aluminum briefcase. For the first time in history, field agents from industry, government, and law enforcement have the ability to test drugs on the spot, anywhere, anytime, to determine whether the actual pill, rather than the packaging, is authentic or counterfeit. With a much wider spectral range than other market offerings, the system simultaneously analyzes, in mere seconds, all components of the pharmaceutical in question, rather than the active ingredient only -- and because the test is non-destructive, the sample is unaltered and preserved. The system operates on either battery or wall power, and weighs a little less than 23 pounds (10.4 kg). The RxSpec 700Z is the realization of several years of extensive research and development, eight patents, and ASD's solid track record of building drug identification technology.

Counterfeiting and theft within the pharmaceutical industry supply chain range from conservative estimates of $30 billion to more than $50 billion in annual losses to corporations, according to market studies by organizations such as IMS Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Additionally, while the extent of pharmaceutical counterfeiting varies among different regions in the world, there is consensus among regulatory bodies that the problem is an extremely dangerous and escalating threat to the health and safety of the world's population. In 2003 the FDA established the Counterfeit Drug Task Force as a new initiative to combat this growing problem. ASD has answered this call to action with the RxSpec® 700Z anti-counterfeit drug analyzer.

"Field agents will find the easy-to-use interface of the RxSpec 700Z quick and intuitive," said Tom Brown, ASD Vice President of Sales and Channel Management. "And because the test takes only a few seconds, the agents will now be able to act more quickly when they have discovered a counterfeit."

ASD will be showing the RxSpec 700Z at the following 2008 events: The Fourth Global Forum on Pharmaceutical AntiCounterfeiting (
http://www.pharma-anticounterfeiting.info/) in Washington DC, June 4-6; Combating Counterfeit Medicines Symposium (http://www.jpag.org/Programme0608.pdf) in London, UK, June 12; Bio International Convention (http://www.bio2008.org/) in San Diego, California, June 17-20; 2008 AAPS National Biotechnology Conference (http://www.aapspharmaceutica.com/meetings/biotec/bt08/index.asp) in Toronto, Canada, June 22-25.

About ASD

ASD Inc. is unsurpassed in solving some of the world's most challenging materials measurement problems. We collaborate with industrial professionals, analytical researchers, and remote sensing scientists to provide the most reliable, high-performance analytical instrumentation solutions for real-world applications. Established in 1990 and based in Boulder, Colorado, USA, ASD Inc. has customers world-wide.

For more information, please contact Amanda Griffin, ASD Marketing Communications Manager, 2555 55th Street, Suite 100, Boulder, CO, 80301 USA; 303/444-6522, 303/444-6825 (fax); mktg @ asdi.com; www.asdi.com.

Contact Information
Amanda Griffin
ASD Inc
http://www.asdi.com
303.444.6522 +129