European Heart Rhythm Association recommends remote navigation tech to reduce occupational radiation exposure

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | February 09, 2018
Cardiology Risk Management X-Ray
The Stereotaxis Niobe magnetic
navigation system
The European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) recently published a consensus document on the radiation exposure risk to employees in the electrophysiology lab, and ways to mitigate it.

Part of the solution involves reducing fluoroscopy exposure with remote navigation systems such as Stereotaxis’ Niobe magnetic navigation system. The company anticipates this to have a large effect on sales.

“We expect the growing body of clinical evidence showing dramatic safety benefits for patients and physicians in electrophysiology, along with improved commercial execution and visible innovation, to support meaningful growth in Stereotaxis revenue,” David Fischel, president and CEO of the company, told HCB News.
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He added that the opportunity for robotics in electrophysiology and in endovascular surgery in general would support hundreds of system sales per year.

The conventional method for protecting employees from radiation exposure in the electrophysiology lab are the use of lead aprons and protective gear. However, the aprons can weigh more than 20 pounds and can cause significant orthopedic issues over time.

A Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions survey published in 2014 found that 49 percent of interventional cardiologists have experienced one or more orthopedic injuries due to their work in the cath lab.

The EHRA document states that these remote navigation systems are associated with near zero exposure to operators. The physician performs the robotic navigation procedure from a control room, which is exposed to 1,000 times less radiation than the operating room.

The Niobe system has also been shown to reduce X-ray usage and associated radiation exposure for patients. An internal systematic review of peer-reviewed studies found that using Niobe compared to manual ablation resulted in a 31 percent reduction in fluoroscopy time, on average.

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