COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho, January 30, 2008 - Preventative heart healthcare gains strong momentum today as NightHawk Radiology Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: NHWK), announced its involvement as the exclusive radiology provider for the High-Risk Plaque Initiative ("HRP Initiative"). The HRP Initiative is a joint research effort to advance the understanding and management of high-risk plaque, which is believed to be the primary underlying cause of heart attacks and strokes.
As part of the research effort, NightHawk's U.S. Board Certified radiologists will interpret Chest CT scans for approximately 6,000 study participants. Additionally, NightHawk Radiology Services expects its affiliated radiologists will read approximately 1,000 Cardiac CTA scans performed on a subset of participants believed to be at higher risk for a cardiac event. Cardiac CTA is a heart-imaging test that is rapidly gaining acceptance for its ability to non-invasively determine whether fatty or calcium deposits (i.e., plaque) have built up in the coronary arteries. The purpose of the interpretation of the CT Chest scans by NightHawk's affiliated radiologists is to identify clinically significant cardiac and non-cardiac findings where the participant might benefit from its detection and follow-up.
Since there are currently no non-invasive methods of screening, diagnosis, or treatment for high-risk plaque, the HRP Initiative's goal is to provide a roadmap for the development of screening, diagnostic, and therapeutic interventions for high-risk plaque, and promote proper use to patients, providers and payors.
"NightHawk was chosen because it was the single teleradiology provider with the strategic experience managing the complex technical aspects and reporting requirements of CCTA reconstructions," said Cherrill Farnsworth, President and Chief Executive Officer of HealthHelp, a radiology benefit management company that is coordinating the teleradiology aspect of the HRP Initiative. "NightHawk's resources, flexibility, and expertise place them at the forefront of CCTA and the 3D reconstruction. They are the only global provider with a viable solution that is available today."
NightHawk Radiology Services has deployed an independent imaging network solution explicitly for the HRP Initiative and it expects to begin evaluating reads in the first quarter of 2008.
"We are very excited to be a part of this initiative, which involves high-profile medical institutions, leading pharmaceutical and medical technology companies, and scientists in the fields of cardiology, pathology, and imaging," said Dr. Paul Berger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NightHawk Radiology Services. "Participating in this initiative builds on the opportunities that lie ahead for our new service offerings such as CCTA, which we believe will continue to gain acceptance as the standard non-invasive diagnostic tool."
NightHawk Radiology (Nasdaq: NHWK), headquartered in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is leading the transformation of the practice of radiology by providing high-quality, cost-effective services to radiology groups and hospitals throughout the United States. NightHawk provides the most complete suite of solutions, including professional services, business services, and its advanced, proprietary clinical workflow technology, all designed to increase efficiencies and improve the quality of patient care and the lives of physicians who provide it. NightHawk's team of U.S. board-certified, state-licensed, and hospital-privileged physicians located in the United States, Australia, and Switzerland, provides services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for more than 750 radiology group customers and the 26% of all U.S. hospitals they serve. For more information, visit http://www.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains statements that are forward-looking statements as defined within the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding cetain aspects of the NightHawk's participation in the HRP Initiative and market acceptance of CCTA and other services offerings of NightHawk. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the statements made, including the risks associated with general economic conditions and market acceptance of new technologies. Other factors that could cause operating and financial results to differ are described in NightHawk's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Other risks may be detailed from time to time in reports to be filed with the SEC. NightHawk does not undertake any obligation to publicly update its forward-looking statements based on events or circumstances after the date hereof.