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Cath/angio vendors offering three distinct groups of solutions

March 21, 2017
Cardiology X-Ray
From the March 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Single plane specialty imaging configurations
This is an area that has emerged with the growing area of catheter-based therapeutic interventions as an alternative to traditional surgical procedures. The term ”hybrid OR” has been coined for a solution that can be installed in the traditional surgical area and offers an ability to convert from an interventional study to an open surgical study in the same room. Variations can use a modified angiographic imaging table or can integrate a more traditional surgical table or provide a portable surgical table to offer a wider range of surgical procedures if desired. The most highly publicized procedure has been the transcatheter aortic valve repair/intervention, commonly referred to as TAVR or TAVI. This emerging technique has continued to grow as more FDA-approved vendors and devices become available.

The clinical trials have suggested that the minimally invasive surgical or non-surgical approach is at least clinically equivalent to traditional surgery. These catheter-based approaches also provide a therapeutic solution to very sick patients who are not medically stable enough for traditional open-heart surgery and otherwise would have no alternative. This catheter-based approach is expanding into other heart valve procedures and closure of heart defects. It is also offering a non-surgical option for closure of the left atrial appendage, which can be a contributing factor in dangerous heart rhythms.

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These clinical applications are not specific to either single or biplane solutions, but most currently are single plane systems. This area of clinical focus has also spurred development of some unique solutions such as the robotic laser-guided C-arm as well as the robotic C-arm design. All vendors have variations of their single plane solutions that can be configured to address the needs of various transcatheter techniques for the interventional and/or thoracic surgery cardiac physician or vascular interventionist and/or endovascular surgical physician.

The core diagnostic applications have remained fairly consistent and defined over the past five to 10 years. Research and development have focused on improving overall image quality while reducing the amount of radiation dose and imaging contrast required to produce high-resolution, diagnostic images. A continuing focus is on the existing interventional techniques to address cardiovascular and neurological diseases.

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