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Sunlight and Erickson Cooperate to Enhance Seniors' Quality of Life
Catonsville, Maryland, USA (July 18, 2002) - Sunlight Omnisense™ 7000S, the only multi-site bone sonometer available in the United States, has been chosen by The Erickson Foundation to test bone strength as part of its innovative Viva! program, which will leverage leading-edge assessment technologies for the residents of Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville, Maryland. Omnisense 7000S is being utilized to detect osteoporosis and to address the risk of fractures associated with the senior population.

Omnisense 7000S, a radiation-free diagnostic device, is unique among bone sonometers approved for sale in the United States in its ability to test at multiple skeletal sites and its applicability to female and male patients. In addition, its patented along-the-bone measurement technology eliminates the effect of soft tissue on measurement, resulting in a more accurate diagnosis. Its quick, non-invasive, patient-friendly exam is ideal for people of any age. All of these positive attributes influenced the Erickson Foundation's decision to provide Omnisense 7000S to the residents of the Catonsville campus, with plans of offering its benefits to residents of all ten communities in the Erickson Retirement Communities network, with their diverse, active, health-conscious population.

The innovative Viva! program provides an integrated system of leading-edge assessment technologies to Erickson residents with the goal of maximizing their quality of life and their independence. Devices to assess physical activity levels, balance and mobility, and lung function, are representative of the tools that will assist in identifying the warning signs of various conditions and possibly allow for early interventions before these conditions become acute. Erickson expects the program to significantly improve quality of life for the residents who participate in it.

"Osteoporosis, with its serious consequences, is an ideal target for the goals of the Viva! program," explains Dr. Gary Applebaum, Chief Medical Officer for Erickson Retirement Communities. The weakened bones of an osteoporosis sufferer frequently lead to fractures without previous trauma. A hip fracture, the most serious of these fractures, keep an older person confined to bed or a wheelchair and make him dependent on others for everyday activities, sometimes permanently. In addition, up to a fifth of hip fracture patients will die in the year following their fracture. But, despite these frightening figures, early detection of low bone strength and timely treatment can help prevent the devastating outcomes of osteoporosis.

The Erickson Foundation's goal is to leverage the Omnisense 7000S through the Viva! program in order to provide reliable information to residents and their health care providers regarding bone health. Armed with this information, the resident, in collaboration with his health care providers, can develop a realistic plan to maximize his bone strength over his lifetime. Erickson's next step will be to introduce other assessment technologies and, later, possibly a mobile testing facility using these technologies along with Omnisense 7000S for Erickson's nine other retirement communities along the East Coast and in the Midwest, bringing the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and other diseases to the wider population in all of these communities. A reduction in the rate of osteoporosis and hip fractures among residents of these communities would be a boon for retirees and their families alike.

The Erickson Retirement Communities network (www.ericksoncommunities.com) is currently home to 9,000 residents in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Michigan.

For more information about the Viva! program, contact Yu-Ling Shao at The Erickson Foundation at (410) 737-8873 or yshao@ericksonmail.com. For more information on Sunlight Medical, Inc. or the Sunlight Omnisense™ 7000S bone sonometer, contact Markus Maritz, President of Sunlight Medical Inc., at (800) 750 6011, ext. 318, or visit Sunlight's website at www.sunlightmedical.com.