SOURCE: UltraClinics, Inc

March 28, 2006 17:00 ET

UltraClinics™ Breast Imaging Center Offers Same-Day Lab Reports and Speeds Up Breast Cancer Care

UltraClinics™ Consumer Driven Health Care Process Reduces Fragmentation of Breast Care and Patient Anxiety

TUCSON, AZ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 28, 2006 -- UltraClinics™, Inc., an Arizona-based health care service integrator, has developed a proprietary process that reduces the fragmentation of breast care services experienced by hundreds of thousands of women in the United States each year. "The UltraClinics™ process reduces patient anxiety by shortening the wait for mammography reports and lab reports. Test reports are now available in a single day," according to Ronald S. Weinstein, M.D., Chairman of UltraClinics™, Inc.

The UltraClinics™ process includes digital mammography imaging and interpretations, on-site tissue biopsies, biopsy diagnoses by telepathology, and same-day mammography and laboratory result reporting. Using the UltraClinics™ process, clinical appointments that previously took days to over a week to complete, are now available at a single clinic visit. UltraClinics™ breast care clinics are available at the University Physicians Tucson Breast Center and at University Physicians Hospital in Tucson, Arizona. (www.uphkino.org/ultraclinics.htm)

UltraClinics™ Process Improves Quality of Breast Care and Reduces Patient Anxiety

The UltraClinics™ process improves the quality, efficiency, and convenience of breast care for women. Until now, many women getting digital mammography at a free-standing breast imaging center had their breast biopsies processed at a contracted laboratory. "Out-sourcing of lab services, without providing patients with contact information for the lab handling their biopsy, can create a barrier to women getting the best possible breast care since it discourages the use of pathology second opinions," states Weinstein. Breast imaging centers are not required to automatically give patients contact information for the laboratory that will be diagnosing their breast biopsies, nor are most women aware of the fact that they may need this information. "This is an area where patient education is definitely needed," states Weinstein, who is also Professor and Head of the Department of Pathology at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine. "The choice of an outside laboratory to handle a woman's initial breast biopsy has clinical implications and can also contribute to the fragmentation of breast cancer care," according to Weinstein. "Unfortunately, in this area of breast care, most women are flying blind," states Weinstein.

Increased Availability of Second Opinions on Breast Biopsies

Currently, in order to get a breast pathologist's second opinion, women have had to track down their breast biopsy slides, hunt for a laboratory with an expert on breast pathology on its staff, and then re-route their slides and laboratory report to the expert's laboratory. "This is a relatively complicated process and creates a barrier for many women who might benefit from pathology second opinions," according to Weinstein. "Most women are unaware of the fact that their biopsy specimen slides are available to them, upon request, for obtaining second opinions. In my experience as a pathology laboratory chief of service, pathology second opinions are highly recommended by most top breast cancer specialists," according to Weinstein. He adds, "Many women are forced to wait an anxiety-producing month or more to get their full set of test results and to then meet with a women's health care specialist for treatment planning." UltraClinics™, Inc. has overcome these barriers though innovative uses of telehealth services. UltraClinics™, Inc. can provide same day breast imaging center patients with same day access to lab services and same day breast biopsy second opinions.

Bundling Telemedicine, Teleradiology and Telepathology Services

UltraClinics™ bundles telemedicine, teleradiology, and telepathology to reduce the diagnostic procedures and result reporting to a matter of hours at its same day clinics. UltraClinics™, Inc. provides independent breast imaging centers with the infrastructure for same day clinics, including obtaining same day pathology second opinions. For the first time, women will be able to obtain these bundled breast care services in a single day at a free-standing breast imaging center.

UltraClinics™ Respects Women's Needs for Efficient Breast Care

In today's world, many women are pressed for time and cannot afford the time it takes for multiple clinic appointments spread out over several weeks or more. "The threat of breast cancer is exceptionally nerve-racking, not just to the patient, but to her family as well. With 80% of all breast biopsies diagnosed as non-malignant, traditional technologies create needless anguish," according to Ana Maria Lopez, M.D., Medical Director for UltraClinics™, Inc. and Director of the Women's Health Initiative at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, Arizona. "The UltraClinics™ process can give her the answer in just a few hours," adds Lopez.

About the Arizona Telemedicine Program and the T-Health Institute

UltraClinics™, Inc. is a spin off company of the University of Arizona and the national award-winning Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP). (www.telemedicine.arizona.edu) The ATP serves as an umbrella organization and has 55 health care organization members in both the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors. The ATP established and operates the Arizona Telemedicine Network, which links 160 rural and urban sites by broadband telecommunications. The ATP has provided telemedicine services for over 275,000 patients in Arizona and in neighboring states. The ATP provides teleradiology-enabled rapid turn-around digital mammography services, which were first deployed on the Navajo Reservation in Northern Arizona. (http://www.ihs.gov/NonMedicalPrograms/Dfee/telemed/default.cfm?content=mbbc_page_1.htm) Telemammography cases are diagnosed by University of Arizona radiologists, over 300 miles away. "The Navajo Nation is a major leader in telemedicine and telehealth innovation (http://www.ihs.gov/NonMedicalPrograms/Dfee/telemed/default.cfm?content=introduction_page_1.htm) and has been visionary in implementing new technologies that foresee the future of health care," according to Weinstein. In the past four years, thousands of women on the Navajo Reservation have received their digital mammography reports in less than one hour, before they leave their clinic. "We believe that this could become the new standard of care for all breast patients," states Weinstein.

UltraClinics™, Inc., is a privately held company. UltraClinics™ and Time Matters™ are trademarks of UltraClinics™, Inc.

Contact Information

  • Company Contact:
    Gail Barker, Ph.D.
    President
    1-520-327-0331
    PO Box 41412
    Tucson, AZ 85717