Ultrasound-Based Software Allows Physicians to Measure Thickened Arterial WallsBOTHELL, WASH., December 29, 2004 €“ Sonosite, Inc. (Nasdaq: SONO), the world leader in hand-carried ultrasound, said today that it has begun customer shipments of the SonoCalc IMT„¢ software, which allows physicians to quickly and effectively measure the wall thickness (IMT) of the common carotid arteries and assess a patient's risk of cardiovascular disease. Used in conjunction with the TITAN system - Sonosite's high-resolution, hand-carried ultrasound technology - the SonoCalc„¢ IMT software enables physicians to identify disease at an early stage and to manage it more effectively. The software, which is PC-based, works with digital images downloaded from the TITAN system.
"The start of customer shipments of SonoCalc„¢ IMT signals the beginning of our move into what we believe is an emerging and potentially large preventive cardiology market," said Kevin M. Goodwin, president and CEO of Sonosite, Inc. "This technology offers physicians a low-cost and non-invasive means to identify cardiovascular disease early when it is both treatable and reversible. This is a practical and innovative primary care application of ultrasound which we believe can play a major role in decreasing the long-term risk of heart attack or stroke by identifying patients with subclinical disease."
Introduced at the 2004 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in November, Sonosite's patented SonoCalc„¢ IMT automated edge-detection technology provides physicians with the ability to analyze the IMT of a patient's carotid artery and compare it with published population data to generate an individualized cardiovascular health profile report. The software provides fully automated, single-click IMT measurement capability; semi-automated, user-guided IMT sketch or trace measurements for difficult images; statistical analysis of multiple IMT measurements; patient-specific exam electronic file management; and professional report generation summarizing one or more IMT examinations for a particular patient.
According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, affecting an estimated 64 million people. The American Heart Association's Adult Treatment Protocol (ATP III) considers carotid IMT appropriate for identifying persons at higher risk than revealed by the traditional major risk factors alone. Carotid IMT has also been used in multiple major statin drug trials as an endpoint for measurement of disease progression.
Sonosite, Inc. (www.sonosite.com), headquartered near Seattle, is the innovator and worldwide market leader in high-performance, hand-carried ultrasound technology. By creating modular, mobile systems that meet customer needs, Sonosite is removing barriers to the use of ultrasound across medicine and positively impacting the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of ultrasound use. With more than 17,000 units sold worldwide since 1999, Sonosite's products have become known for exceptional durability with a high design value.
Forward-looking Information and the Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995
Certain statements in this press release relating to the market acceptance of our products, possible future sales relating to expected orders, and our future financial and operations results are "forward-looking statements" for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of our management at the time the statements are made and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expected or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements are not guaranties of future performance and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are based on potentially inaccurate assumptions. Factors that could affect the rate and extent of market acceptance of our products, the receipt of expected orders, and our financial performance include our ability to accurately forecast customer demand for our products, acceptance by clinicians of IMT measurement as part of a cardiovascular risk profile, our ability to manufacture and ship our systems and software products in a timely manner to meet customer demand, timely receipts of regulatory approvals to market and sell our products, the willingness of healthcare providers who do not currently use ultrasound to use ultrasound, the extent to which healthcare insurers reimburse providers for ultrasound procedures and IMT measurement, regulatory changes in various national health care markets, constraints in government and public health spending, the ability of our sales force, distribution partners and other sales channels to market and sell our products, as well as other factors described under the heading, "Important Factors that May Affect Our Business, Our Results of Operating and Our Stock Price," included in our latest periodic report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We caution readers not to place undue reliance upon these forward-looking statements that speak only as to the date of this release. We undertake no obligation to publicly revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date of this release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
TITAN and SonoCalc are trademarks of Sonosite, Inc.