Jeffrey Kao has been named senior VP of sales, clinical and IT solutions for Hill-Rom (Batesville, Indiana). Kao's background includes his most recent role as president/CEO of a software company owned by Accel-KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts). Hill-Rom, the health care unit of Hillenbrand Industries, specializes in patient care in hospitals, extended care facilities, and home care settings.

Securities and Exchange Commission (Washington) chairman Christopher Cox announced the appointment of Katherine Addleman as the regional director of the Atlanta office. Addleman, who is currently the associate regional director for enforcement in the Fort Worth, Texas office, will assume her new position in June and oversee the Atlanta office's enforcement and examination activities in seven states in the Southeast. Addleman has more than 17 years of experience in the commission's enforcement program investigating and litigating numerous cases.

Larry Adighije was named VP of business development and strategy of Spectranetics (Colorado Springs, Colorado). Adighije was previously senior director of business development and strategic marketing for Edwards Lifesciences. Spectranetics makes the only excimer laser approved in the U.S., Europe and Japan for use in minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures.

St. Jude Medical reports FDA approval of 4 new products

St. Jude Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) reported FDA approval of four new devices.

The Current ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) and Promote CRT-D (cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator) are St. Jude's first devices to be built on the company's new consolidated hardware and software platform to support implantable cardiac devices. These products help treat patients with potentially lethal heart arrhythmias and heart failure. The CRT-D offers flexibility in pacing choices by allowing physicians to select an additional LV lead pacing pulse configuration. The Current ICD provides a delay in device stimulation of the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) to allow the patient's own heart rhythm to prevail when possible.

The OptiSense lead is described by St. Jude as a first-of-its-kind "smart" pacing lead designed to offer more accurate sensing in the upper chamber of the heart (right atrium). The lead uses a new tip design that reduces extraneous signals from the heart's lower chambers (ventricles) that can interfere with a pacemaker's sensing mechanism and disrupt optimal therapy. The OptiSense lead's improved sensing of desired electrical signals in the atria allows physicians more flexibility in programming atrial sensitivity settings while avoiding sensing signals from the ventricles.

The uni-directional therapy Cool Path open-irrigated ablation catheter is for use in patients with type 1 atrial flutter. An electrophysiologist uses a catheter to deliver radiofrequency energy to create lesions in specific areas of cardiac tissue. The lesions interrupt the abnormal electrical signals that contribute to erratic heart rhythms. An open-irrigated catheter distributes saline fluid into heart tissue through ports in the tip of the catheter to enhance cooling during ablation procedures, reducing the risk of undesirable tissue damage at the procedure site.

St. Jude Medical has five major focus areas that include: cardiac rhythm management, atrial fibrillation, cardiac surgery, cardiology and neuromodulation.

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