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Jewish Hospital First in Louisville to Use GPS-Like Technology for Procedures to correct Heart Rhythm problems
MediGuide Technology is designed to improve precision as well as significantly reduce radiation exposure for patients, physicians and staff
Louisville, Ky. (October 6, 2015) – Jewish Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health, is the first facility in Louisville to use a new medical technology in cardiac procedures, similar to a global positioning system (GPS) drivers use to determine the location of their vehicle on a map.
The MediGuide™ Technology allows physicians to see the precise location of specially designed delivery tools and catheters enabled with miniature sensors to navigate within the heart. Using a low-powered electromagnetic field, the system allows physicians to see in real-time, a three-dimensional (3-D) image of these tools on pre-recorded fluoroscopy (a rapid series of X-ray images). Automatic adjustments are made to the pre-recorded images to compensate for changing heart rhythms, breathing and patient movement. By allowing the physician to track devices on pre-recorded fluoroscopy, MediGuide technology can help avoid additional fluoroscopy throughout the procedure and can reduce radiation exposure to the patient by approximately 80 percent.
“Real time imaging is crucial to providing the most precise patient care,” said Rakesh Gopinathannair, MD, MA, FHRS, director of Cardiac Electrophysiology, University of Louisville and KentuckyOne Health. “Adding this multi-faceted technology to our toolkit means that we’re able to limit the amount of radiation exposure while improving patient outcomes.”
The MediGuide technology may be used to aid a physician in navigating delivery tools and catheters in the cardiac anatomy during implantable device procedures, such as cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) cases, which helps restore a patient’s heart rhythm back to normal and protects against sudden cardiac death. MediGuide technology can also be used in ablation procedures where radiofrequency (RF) energy is delivered to correct an arrhythmia (or irregular heart beat).
Why reducing fluoroscopy is important
The current standard practice for viewing devices in the heart uses continuous, live fluoroscopy, which is a rapid series of X-ray images taken throughout the course of the procedure. Worldwide, physicians perform millions of these radiation-based imaging procedures annually and approximately one-third occur in cardiovascular patients.
While the benefits of imaging provided by fluoroscopy are important, studies show that the ionizing radiation from repeated exposure to fluoroscopy over time may compromise a person’s immune system, elevate the risk of developing cancer, or present other health hazards. These risks also have the potential to greatly impact overall health care costs. With MediGuide technology, instead of using prolonged live x-rays, physicians can now insert MediGuide sensor-enabled catheters into the patient’s heart and precisely guide it to repair the damaged heart muscle.
“At KentuckyOne Health, we’re dedicated to improving the health of Kentuckians,” said Joe Gilene, president, Jewish Hospital, and downtown market leader. “This new technology, in the hands of our skilled and compassionate physicians and medical staff, is just one way that we’re able to provide the best care to our patients.”