by Lisa Chamoff
, Contributing Reporter | March 27, 2017
From the March 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
The trend toward more minimally invasive structural heart procedures, such as aortic valve replacements and left atrial appendage closures, is continuing to push new releases and software upgrades in the cath/angio space.
At the same time, older and sicker patients are making it even more important for all cardiac procedures to be performed quickly and precisely, with less contrast and a lower radiation dose. From the debut of new angiography systems to upgraded software features designed to guide these imaging-heavy procedures, here is a look at the new products released in the last year by the major OEMs in the cardiovascular imaging space.
GE Healthcare’s newest products include a version of its Discovery IGS 730 angiography system that integrates with MAQUET’s MAGNUS OR table system. Released last year, it provides the ability to image patients when they are laying on a conventional operating table. “The integration of advanced image-guided systems and conventional operating tables enables hospitals to optimize the use of their hybrid OR,” says Sergio Calvo, GE Healthcare’s product marketing director for interventional imaging in the U.S. and Canada. “In open procedures, the conventional OR table brings additional clinical flexibility to the hybrid operating rooms, enabling hospitals to expand the range of surgical procedures and interventions.”
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The company also updated the ASSIST software, which helps physicians plan, guide and assess interventional procedures. Valve ASSIST, for example, helps plan the deployment of aortic valves during transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures. Starting with a CT, the software maps the trajectory of the replacement valve and helps guide it to where it is going to be deployed. After deployment, the software assesses if the valve was properly deployed.
Calvo says GE Healthcare surveyed the benefits of the ASSIST package, which is adopted in more than 60 percent of eligible procedures, based on 15 months of data from 10 clinical sites. “A lot of the time, when customers buy advanced applications, they don’t use them on a regular basis,” Calvo says. “Ease of use is critical.” The ASSIST packages provide up to a 78 percent reduction in contrast, up to 70 percent dose reduction and a 28 percent time reduction, Calvo says.
Dr. Tanvir Bajwa, a cardiologist at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, says the VALVE ASSIST software has helped decrease the amount of contrast they use — from 70 to 100 cubic centimeters (cc) of contrast to an average of 35 cc — which is good for patients with kidney problems. Bajwa says the feature has made the procedure faster and more efficient. Five or six years ago, every patient was intubated and they stayed in the hospital for up to six days. Now, only 10 percent of patients are intubated and the usual hospital stay is two to three days. “This particular software allows me to use less dye and gives me the clarity where my valve has to be,” Bajwa says.