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OLYMPUS UNVEILS UNPRECEDENTED TOTAL GI SOLUTIONS AT DIGESTIVE DISEASE WEEK

Chicago, IL, May 16, 2005 - Olympus, a precision technology leader in designing and delivering innovative solutions in healthcare and consumer electronics worldwide, unveiled a broad range of innovative products and services that enhance diagnosis, efficiency and functionality in gastroenterology. Presented at Digestive Disease Week, at McCormick Place in Chicago, May 15-19, key offerings include four endoscopes from the new 180 series; the world’s first 360-degree electronic radial endoscope; a breakthrough endobronchial ultrasound-guided trans-bronchial needle aspiration system; and Olympus EndoSite® Consulting Services, a comprehensive collection of professional services to improve the strategic planning, development, operational performance and efficiency of gastrointestinal (GI) facilities.

“Today, leadership in GI not only requires premium products, which Olympus has consistently delivered over the past five decades, but also advising customers on how to best use these products to optimize clinical care and financial outcomes,” stated F. Mark Gumz, President and Chief Operating Officer of Olympus America. “We can now do that by offering our customers total GI solutions that combine our new consulting services with innovative equipment for the continuum of care from diagnosis to treatment.”

180 Series Gastroscopes and Colonoscopes: Enhanced Diagnosis and Efficiency
With its superior optics, slimmer designs, and easier handling, the new 180 series provides enhanced diagnostic capabilities as well as improved efficiency and patient turn-around time.

The CF-Q180A wide-angle video colonoscope features a newly designed proprietary lens delivering an unprecedented 170-degree field of view. This wider field of view facilitates insertion and observation, which may help to improve the detection of lesions. The improvement in optics also provides an ergonomic advantage to the user by reducing the angulation and torque required to see behind haustral folds. As a result, GI physicians can now see more, search less and effectively reduce procedure time.

The PCF-Q180A colonoscope provides high-resolution and full-screen image quality previously available only from larger diameter colonoscopes. The scope also features a convenient, use-on-demand, auxiliary water jet that faciliates cleaning of the inside surface (mucosa) of the colon for unobstructed visualization, eliminating the need for the more time consuming, manual syringe method.

The GIF-N180 videogastroscope, with its super slim 4.9mm diameter insertion tube and 2.0mm working channel, offers unprecedented flexibility. It allows the physician to screen patients and take biopsies via either a transnasal or transoral approach, without the use of sedation. Because sedation is not required, the procedure becomes less complicated and screening endoscopies can be performed more frequently.

The GIF-Q180 gastroscope improves insertion capability for a wide range of upper GI procedures. It measures just 8.8 mm in diameter, which is significantly smaller (by approximately 10%) than its predecessor, while still providing full-screen image quality and enhanced control.

Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS): Better Value
The new Olympus GF-UE160-AL5 is the world’s first 360-degree electronic radial scanning endoscope. It provides a full 360-degree cross-sectional ultrasound scan, for a more comprehensive examination of the upper GI tract, using tissue harmonic imaging (THI) and quadrasonic frequencies, while enabling identification of blood vessels through color and power Doppler. The GF-UE160-AL5 is pending FDA 510(k) clearance for marketing in the United States.

The new SSD-Alpha5 ultrasound processor, manufactured by Aloka Co., Ltd. and distributed by Olympus, offers better imaging performance, ergonomics, and data management than its predecessor for nearly the same price. It is compatible with both currently available standard and therapeutic size Olympus curvilinear array models as well as with the new Olympus radial array endoscope. An intuitive system to use, the SSD-Alpha5 features a new high density, digital front-end designed for improved spatial and contrast imaging; four different frequencies offering greater flexibility; a built-in hard drive and image manager, and user-customized preset functions for operational efficiency.

Also new from Olympus is an EBUS TBNA System, specifically designed for diagnostic biopsies and staging in the lung. This system offers real-time transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) biopsy guided by endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) with simultaneous confirmation of blood flow conditions resulting in improved TBNA efficiency and accuracy. Unlike conventional TBNA biopsies or mediastinoscopy, this system’s breakthrough combination of exceptional reliability and minimum invasiveness is expected to make it the method of choice for more accurate diagnosis and staging in the lung.

EndoWorks® 7.2: Seamless Interfacing with Hospital and Practice Management Systems
EndoWorks is a web-based information management solution that spans all stages of patient care to increase productivity while reducing costs for healthcare facilities. The latest release of this product, EndoWorks 7.2, features a new interface to communicate with hospital and practice management systems through automated information exchange. Benefits of this function include elimination of redundant data entry and expanded data integrity for the entire healthcare facility, as well as more efficient clinical workflow and electronic record management. EndoWorks’ interfaces are compatible with industry standards and can be customized to meet individual facility needs.

EndoSite® Consulting Services: Increasing G.I. Facility Performance, Profitability and Efficiency
EndoSite Consulting Services
is a comprehensive collection of professional services provided by highly skilled EndoSite advisors whose extensive hands-on experience, combined with Olympus’ leading global expertise in GI medical products and services, provide financial and operational consulting services to hospital GI labs, endoscopic ambulatory surgery centers (EASCs) and office endoscopy practices.

For customers planning to renovate or build a GI facility, EndoSite Strategic Planning and Development services address the myriad of issues that will be encountered throughout the project cycle. Using EndoPlanner® --- a patented, web-based, five-year strategic planning tool built on industry intelligence, Olympus benchmarking data and proven decision models --- EndoSite advisors will provide a plan that will ensure the operational and financial success of a new or renovated GI facility. EndoSite advisors also provide Project Tracking & Facilitation services, Architectural Design & Workflow Review and Office Endoscopy Development Support for total planning and development solutions.

To help customers streamline their operations and enhance efficiency, Olympus offers EndoSite Operations and Efficiency Services. These services are designed to identify operational improvements that will optimize patient volumes, maximize profitability and create high patient and staff satisfaction. Using proprietary software tools and best practice modeling, EndoSite advisors offer GI Repair Reduction & Reprocessing Analyses, Business & Clinical Operations Analysis, EndoEfficiencies™ Simulation & Predictive Outcomes Modeling, GI Benchmarking and Integrated Delivery Network (IDN) Cost Analysis Services.

Additionally, to help establish efficient processes to maximize revenue for all procedures performed, EndoSite Reimbursement Services are offered. These services are designed to analyze current coding processes and clinical operational costs. EndoSite advisors will help appropriately optimize the return on claims and provide accurate and detailed procedure cost data to negotiate improved contracts with third party payers. Services include GI Coding & Reimbursement Analysis and Hospital G.I. Procedure Cost ID.

New Component for Revolutionary V-System™ Olympus for the first time also presented the V-Holder™, the newest component of its V-System™, a revolutionary system that incorporates an Olympus duodenoscope and EndoTherapy devices to help streamline a therapeutic procedure known as Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography (ERCP). ERCP is traditionally a time consuming, complicated procedure to correct a problem in the biliary and/or pancreatic ducts. The V-Holder assists in V-System exchanges and helps ensure that the guidewire will stay in place during catheter exchange and duct sweeping.

In the conventional device replacement procedure, the physician withdraws the catheter while the assistant pushes the guidewire into the catheter to prevent it from losing its position in the biliary duct. With the V-Holder, it is now possible for the physician to withdraw the device more quickly and more easily with one motion while the guidewire stays in place.

The V-System was first unveiled last October at the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG). Designed to simplify the ERCP procedure, the V-System allows the choice of guidewire and device control by either the physician or the assistant, offers easier catheter exchange, and enhances cannulation.

Integrated EndoLAB™ Olympus also showed its Integrated EndoLAB™, which was launched as the first integrated GI lab in May 2003, delivering end-to-end customized audio visual GI solutions through a seamless needs identification, project management and installation process, complete with financing options. Integrated EndoLAB features ceiling mount equipment, documentation capabilities and integration solutions that facilitate improved connectivity, collaboration and communication for endoscopic procedures.

ABOUT OLYMPUS
Olympus is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering innovative solutions in healthcare and consumer electronics worldwide. Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its parent company, Tokyo-based Olympus Corporation, to leverage R&D investment in precision technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines.

These include:

  • Gastrointestinal endoscopes, accessories, and minimally invasive surgical products;
  • Advanced clinical and research microscopes;
  • Lab automation systems, chemistry-immuno and blood bank analyzers and reagents;
  • Digital and film cameras and digital voice recorders.

In the U.S. and Canada, Olympus serves healthcare and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers efficiently, reliably, safely, and easily achieve superior results. Olympus is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. The company's market leading consumer electronics business spans North and South America. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com

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Note to editors: Images and fact sheets about Olympus products and services presented at DDW are available at http://www.olympuspresspass.com