GE's Vivid I compact
cardiovascular ultrasound system

Imaging System Makers Gathered at TCT Meeting

October 22, 2008
by Lynn Shapiro, Writer
GE Healthcare, Philips and Toshiba unveiled ever-more powerful imaging products and upgrades at the 20th annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting in Washington, D.C. last week.

The annual TCT symposium has became the premier showcase for the most sophisticated technologies for interventional cardiologists. Techniques and training were offered to cardiologists around the world and patients needing procedures agreed be part of it.

GE Healthcare

Visitors to GE Healthcare saw "the debut of game-changing products and partnerships to help physicians combat disease," the company said.

Several new products are making their international debuts. For one, the GE Innova cardiovascular X-ray system continues to deliver excellent image quality with industry-leading dose efficiency. These technologies will soon be further aided by the new Innova Dose, Innova 3D and Innova with stent technologies features, GE said.

Intended to enhance, but not replace, 2D fluoroscopic imaging, GE's new Innova 3D imaging technique lets clinicians rapidly acquire and reconstruct 3D cardiac anatomy images in the cath lab.

Innova with stent technologies simplifies lesion assessment and provides exceptional stent visualization, with easy, one-button activation and can be fully integrated with Innova IVUS systems.

Meanwhile, the FDA is currently reviewing StentVis, a component of Innova with stent technologies.

Biosense Webster Partnership

GE's Vivid I compact cardiovascular ultrasound system, with its high-resolution imaging capability, intuitive user interface and portable design, leads the industry in quality performance and clinical expansion, GE told cardiologists.

At last week's meeting, GE unveiled a 2D Intracardiac Echo (ICE) ultrasound system. "Through a unique and expanded partnership with Biosense Webster Inc.,GE launched the AcuNav 2D ICE catheter for invasive echocardiography procedures.
This catheter enables the physician to evaluate cardiac anatomy, guide ablation procedures and reduce the likelihood of complications during interventional procedures. The new product will be aimed at both the structural heart and the electrophysiology markets.

Boston Scientific Corporation

Meanwhile GE Healthcare has formed another partnership with ultrasound market leader Boston Scientific Corporation, to improve IVUS workflow between the GE Healthcare Innova Cardiovascular X-ray System and the Boston Scientific iLab Ultrasound Imaging System.

Now, the iLab ultrasound can be directly installed into the cardiac catherization lab or radiology suite alongside the GE Innova X-ray System, enabling physicians to more readily incorporate IVUS technology into their procedures. IVUS is a tiny catheter that is inserted into the heart or into a vessel where high-frequency sound waves reflect off tissue or vessel walls. The reflected sound waves create a cross-sectional image from within the vessel or heart to aid in visualizing vessel and heart structures. IVUS is an important tool in determining treatment options because it is designed to offer a more complete picture from inside the artery or vessel and helps to optimize stent outcomes.

Hensen Medical Inc.

Customers can now benefit from improved workflow in the EP and cath labs due to compatibility between GE's Innova cardiovascular imaging systems and Hansen Medical Systems' robotic navigation technology, GE said.

Hansen's Sensei robotic catheter system is a robotic navigation system that enables clinicians to place mapping catheters in hard-to-reach anatomical locations within the heart, so that even complex cardiac arrhythmia procedures can be performed accurately and easily.

The Innova and Sensei systems are at work in conjunction with Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. Other hospitals will be able to purchase the robotic catheter system now that it has passed muster with those Harvard cardiologists.

"The workflow is much improved and the compatibility has been seamless," said Dr. Laurence Epstein, director of Brigham and Women's Electrophysiology Lab. "Combining the imaging excellence of Innova with the precision guidance of Hansen's robotics is truly helping us maximize patient care and minimize procedure time," Dr. Epstein says.

Radi Medical Systems

To expand its compatibility with the industry leaders of FFR technology, GE Healthcare has announced a partnership with Radi Medical Systems (Uppsala, Sweden).

"Combining the strength of GE's Mac-Lab IT homodynamic recording cardiovascular platform and the performance of Radi's Pressurewire Aeris in the assessment of FFR, has great clinical potential," said Pascale Witz, vice president of GE Healthcare's Interventional Cardiology business. "We're pleased to enter into a relationship that expands the clinical capabilities of our systems with new possibilities."

Philips Opens Advanced Healthcare Technology Factory in Brazil

Meanwhile, at a conference gala, Royal Philips Electronics celebrated the opening of its first Magnetic Resonance manufacturing facility in Latin America, previously reported in DOTmed News.

Customers across Latin America will benefit from shorter delivery periods and reduced equipment costs, once the equipment is manufactured locally. "The products' delivery time will be substantially reduced from eight months to 30 days. There will also be a reduction of around 15 percent on the final price of the Magnetic Resonance equipment due to a combination of reduced taxes and lowered production costs in Brazil," a Philips spokesperson said.

What's more, the presence of the factory is expected to spur Brazil's high-tech industry and revitalize the economy in the state of Minas Gerais, where the facility is based. Three types of Magnetic Resonance devices will be manufactured in Brazil: the Intera 1.5T and Achieva 1.5T and 3.0T. Initially 70 percent of the components for the devices will be imported, but Philips' intention is to increase the proportion of locally-produced components to 60 percent by mid-2010. The company is currently identifying and equipping local factories so they will be able to manufacture many of the highly advanced components used in the devices.

Toshiba Infinix Systems Used in Live Demonstrations at TCT

The unique C-arm positioning of the Toshiba Infinix cardiovascular X-ray system provides clinicians with superior access to the patient. To demonstrate these capabilities, a few patients agreed to be showcased at the meeting.

Rush University Medical Center and Ochner Heart and Vascular Institute doctors used Toshiba's Infinix systems on cardiac patients to show other physicians how they worked in vivo.

Dr. Ziyad M. Hijazi, director of the Rush Center for Congenital and Structural Heart Disease, performed a percutaneous value procedure, an atrial septal defect (ASD) closure and a coarctation with stents using the Infinix CF-i/BP, on one of his patients.

The design of the Infinix CF-i/BP system assists with the procedures, allowing physicians the critical equipment they need to diagnose and treat patients at a level never seen before. The floor-based rotation mechanism of the C-arm allows staff to have 180-degree access around the head-end of the table.

"Thigh high image quality produced by our Infinix system and the unique positioning is ideal for patients with congenital heart disease and valve problems," said Dr. Hijazi. "The innovative biplane system is well suited for studies requiring complicated and advanced techniques, including transcatherer procedures."

Using the Infinix DP-I, Dr. Christopher J. White, M.D., chairman of the Department of Cardiology and Dr. Stephen R. Ramee, M.D., director of Cardiac catherization, both of Ossner Heart and Vascular Institute, performed a renal and mesenteric intervention procedure and a superficial femoral artery (SFA) in a live demonstration on one of his patients.

"The dual panel of the Infinix DP-I cardiovascular X-ray system enables physicians to select the right detector for the anatomy we are imaging," Dr. White told the meeting.

And the unique dual C-arm system allows one system to perform like two. One C-arm is designed for cardiac work, while the other is optimized for peripheral work outside the heart, as when a patient has carotids.