Release Date: April 9, 2008
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Local company Medcotek, Inc., has signed a licensing agreement with the University at Buffalo for use of a new technology that will advance the company's entry into the lucrative teleradiology market.
Developed by Vipin Chaudhary, Ph.D., UB associate professor of computer science and engineering, the new 3D viewer and data-transmission system is designed to improve the transmission and diagnosis of x-rays and other radiological images sent over the Internet, a process known as teleradiology.
A shortage of radiologists nationwide has created demand for teleradiology technologies, particularly in remote areas where the shortage is acute, according to Medcotek CEO Frederic Zeigler.
Medcotek relocated from North Carolina to Buffalo last year to work with Chaudhary and benefit from UB's supercomputing and biomedical expertise. The company currently is located in UB's New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
The company has begun marketing a prototype of the new technology, which has capabilities that far exceed those of teleradiology products currently on the market, Zeigler said.
"This new technology will enable better and timelier diagnosis and treatment of patients," Zeigler explained. "Unlike other radiology solutions, this technology allows multiple radiologists to collaborate on a case seamlessly from different or remote locations."
Users will be able to view and manipulate medical images sent to or from a remote location. The technology provides enhanced diagnostic imaging features and communications that will improve the transmission of patient cases in radiology, using any available communication network or equipment.
The licensing agreement between UB and Medcotek covers the field of radiology data transmission and collaboration and communication between two or more sites, according to Jeff Dunbar, director of UB's Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR), which assists the funding and commercialization of UB research.
The technology licensed to Medcotek has the potential to revolutionize teleradiology and telemedicine practices, according to Chaudhary, who previously launched his own businesses and was on the teams of several successful businesses.
"Our technology provides sophisticated image analysis features, enabling collaboration across remote locations without any proprietary hardware and software," Chaudhary said. "By adding workflow and providing this solution as an application service, it is a compelling solution for radiology groups."
An expert on medical imaging, Chaudhary was recruited to UB in 2007 as part of the UB 2020 plan to hire outstanding faculty scientists who can help advance UB's strategic focus on health and wellness and computing technology. UB's work in biotechnology is focused on improving health care and spin off of new products, businesses and jobs within Buffalo Niagara's emerging biotechnology industry.
The teleradiology, picture and communications-systems market is estimated to reach nearly $1.1 billion annually, according to Medcotek President James Johnston. The market is projected to grow 14 percent annually as more regions are impacted by a shortage of radiologists.
"With our intellectual property secured, Medcotek is actively seeking investors and strategic business partners to advance product development in anticipation of a 2008 launch," said Robert States, Medcotek senior vice president. After the launch, States anticipates the company will begin adding employees and will look to relocate to a new facility near or on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
Medcotek is one of 10 companies located in UB's Center for Excellence that are either collaborating with UB researchers or were founded by UB researchers. Twenty-eight companies are located in UB's Incubator adjacent to the North (Amherst) Campus.
A U.S. Patent Application on the technology is pending. The primary inventor is Chaudhary. Co-inventors are Mohammed Alam, UB visiting researcher and research assistant at Wayne State University; Christopher Gammage of BioImagene, Inc.; Suryaprakash Kompalli visiting UB researcher and research associate at Wayne State University; and Mohammed Yaqub, researcher, UB Department of Computer Science and Engineering.