GE Healthcare and St. Jude Medical Inc. this week announced plans to jointly develop an integrated imaging and monitoring capability to cardiac catheterization labs with fully integrated intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) imaging capabilities.
Through the GE-St. Jude Medical collaboration, GE’s ultrasound technology will be integrated with St. Jude Medical’s catheter technology to provide physicians with real-time ultrasound imaging inside the heart, with direct visualization of both blood flow and other catheters used during cardiac procedures. The combined imaging technology is expected to give physicians high-quality diagnostic images of cardiac structures and blood flow throughout the entire heart, enhancing visibility and enabling more successful procedures.
“These new visualization tools are like having eyes inside the patient’s heart, without actually having to open the chest,” said Dr. Laurence M. Epstein, chief of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Brigham and Women's Hospital. “The development of ICE technology has changed how we approach ablation procedures. We can visualize, in real time, the actual anatomic structures that we are targeting.”
One specific application of the jointly produced application will be in combating atrial fibrillation.
“Atrial fibrillation is one of the largest unmet clinical needs in cardiovascular medicine today,” said Dr. Peter Chen, president of St. Jude Medical’s organization that is developing the ICE catheter as part of the collaboration. “By working with GE Healthcare, we are enhancing our ongoing efforts to improve treatment options for AF patients and their physicians,” said Chen.