Swiss drug and diagnostics manufacturing firm Roche will acquire point-of-care systems integration firm Medical Automation Systems Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Charlottesville, Va.-based Medical Automation Systems sells software to enable the transfer of data from unconnected medical diagnostic devices--such as glucose monitors, blood gas analyzers and white blood cell count devices--to laboratory information systems. The integration software, known as RALS, works with nearly 30 devices from multiple manufacturers, including Roche.

Roche has been a marketer of RALS for more than a decade, and Medical Automation Systems will become part of Indianapolis-based Roche Diagnostics.

More than 2,000 hospitals in the United States use RALS, according to the vendors. "As part of Roche, RALS will remain a vendor-neutral IT connectivity solution and Roche will continue to expand the number of device interfaces available," the company said in a statement. "

The acquisition continues Roche's strategy to expand its portfolio of information technology and connectivity products. The company recently paid $100 million for BioImagene Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor of pathology workflow and analysis software.

More information is available at

--Joseph Goedert


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