A Medical Device Daily

As the American Heart Association (Dallas) annual meeting got underway this week, many companies chose the gathering to rollout new products.

GE Healthcare (Waukesha, Wisconsin) showcased the introduction of a new compact ultrasound system to address the growing demand for cardiac imaging at the point of care.

The Vivid e, the newest member of GE’s Compact Series of ultrasound systems, is designed to provide a dedicated cardiovascular ultrasound solution for the physician office in a practical, easy to use design.

“The Vivid e will give more physicians access to cardiovascular imaging capabilities to diagnose a wide range of heart conditions, which will help them to determine the course of treatment for their patients,” said Omar Ishrak, president and CEO of GE Healthcare’s Clinical Systems business. “Our Vivid e was designed specifically to meet physicians’ needs for cardiovascular imaging and we believe that the Vivid e will become the system of choice in cardiologists’ offices across the country.”

The Vivid e blends image quality, clinical applications, reporting tools and a user interface designed specifically for cardiac imaging in a portable 10-pound package. The system leverages GE’s research and development investment in the areas of software-based ultrasound platforms and hardware miniaturization in a patented design.

GE’s Vivid e is FDA cleared and is commercially available in the U.S.

GE Healthcare also highlighted new breakthroughs to its Vivid cardiovascular ultrasound platform at the meeting.

The Vivid 7 Dimension ‘06 is designed to help clinicians assess cardiovascular anatomy and LV function with more accuracy. This system can help improve a clinician’s diagnostic confidence by making 4-D cardiovascular imaging easier to use during day-to-day clinical exams.

The Vivid 7 Dimension system is a PC-based, software, raw data ultrasound platform that continues to evolve and improve year after year.

“The additional information provided by 4-D echocardiography increases diagnostic confidence for both the anatomical and functional assessment vs. standard 2-D imaging. The 4-D protocol is both easy to use and easy to understand, and it is improving care across a broad range of patients,” said Dr. Randy Martin, professor of medicine and director of echocardiology at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

New features for Vivid 7 Dimension ’06 include: Real-time 4-D color flow full volume imaging; 4-D LV Volume; Advance Tissue Synchronization Imaging and Automated Function Imaging.

Royal Philips (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) said it will demonstrate a range of new cardiovascular solutions at AHA. Philips revealed the industry’s smallest transducer for 4-D cardiac ultrasound imaging in infants and children to help cardiologists accurately view a patient’s cardiac structure and blood flow by improving access to the heart.

As cardiac care continues to be a prevalent concern for millions of Americans, innovative solutions and applications that integrate with various modalities including ultrasound, healthcare informatics, magnetic resonance and CT are needed to help speed care and increase clinical confidence.

Introduced for the first time, the Philips X7-2 x-MATRIX array transducer is part of what the company termed a “robust pediatric and congenital heart disease solution” that affords small patients the same imaging, quantification and cardiac management benefits that adults attain from Live real-time 3-D echocardiography (echo), an ultrasound of the heart.

The speed at which volumetric data are captured and the non-invasive nature of ultrasound enables clinicians to obtain high-quality images and data quickly and easily, while potentially reducing young patients’ emotional and physical stress, and providing surgeons with pre-operative views of cardiac anatomy and function.

Additionally, the Philips X7-2 transducer, in conjunction with QLAB quantification software, allows cardiologists to evaluate a pediatric patient’s heart and closely examine structures, blood flow and function for enhanced diagnosis and treatment planning.

Philips Xcelera R2.1 is a cardiovascular information solution that integrates exam results from all key cardiology subspecialties — interventional X-ray, cardiovascular ultrasound, electrocardiography, nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT, cardiac MR and electrophysiology. Soon to be released to the U.S. market, the Xcelera R2.1 is a solution designed for documentation, viewing, quantification and reporting, while providing clinicians access to relevant patient images and information across the hospital from a single workspace.

Also displayed at this year’s AHA scientific sessions is Philips CT’s TrueView technology. This software integrates CT imaging into the cath lab by allowing 3-D CT images to be transferred to the Philips Allura Xper FD cardiovascular X-ray system. Uniting two of Philips leading diagnostic systems, the integration provides clinicians with a more complete view of the anatomy for the treatment planning of invasive procedures involving conditions like ischemia, arrhythmia and heart failure.

The company also showcased a new device location enhancement to its IntelliVue Telemetry System. Telemetry systems enable mobile, wireless monitoring for emergency department patients with suspected cardiac problems, and continuous surveillance for recovering patients in the ICU stepdown unit or ambulatory cardiac patients. The Device Location feature helps hospital staff quickly retrieve telemetry transceivers that have been misplaced, mistakenly taken by patients, or lost. The ability to track down missing transceivers helps to reduce replacement costs, increase efficiency and prevent interruptions to care.

Study says CHF patients should put on dancing shoes – and waltz

CHICAGO — There’s more to dancing (with or without the stars) than having some fun.

Well-worn dancing shoes may now be considered medical devices, according to a report by a group of Italian researchers at this year’s American Heart Association (Dallas) scientific sessions. Dancing can help chronic heart failure patients improve their cardiovascular fitness.

Researchers at the cardiac rehab unit of Lancisi Heart Institute (Ancona) used progressive dance therapy for 110 patients — 89 of them men, average age 59 — with stable but advanced chronic heart failure. The patients were randomized into two groups, one who did treadmill and cycling exercise three times a week for eight weeks, the other to a dance program in the hospital, alternating a slow and a fast waltz for 21 minutes, also over eight weeks.

The researchers found that heart rate, cardiac function and anaerobic threshold improvements were similar in both groups. While ejection fraction was unchanged, other measurements of heart function improved in the dancers. And the dancing group especially improved in quality-of-life scores. (Translation: they were having fun). These were much better than the exercise-only group, especially in terms of emotional status, researchers said.