Corindus Vascular Robotics and Acist Medical Systems are joining forces to improve the workflow of percutaneous coronary intervention for atherosclerosis at a Minnesota hospital. Corindus will offer its robotic-assisted system, while Acist will contribute systems to simplify contrast injections and measure fractional flow reserve (FFR) for the procedure.
Industry players, including Medtronic ($MDT) and Johnson & Johnsom ($JNJ), have been racing to get in on robotic surgery, which has historically been dominated by Intuitive Surgical ($ISRG). And there has been a recent surge of interest in minimally invasive robotic surgery as the concept gains traction as a viable alternative to laparoscopic surgery.
PCI is a nonsurgical procedure that uses a catheter to place and deploy a stent in coronary vessels that have narrowed. After the patient is sedated, the catheter is inserted in the arm or the groin. Once it reaches the heart, a contrast dye is released to show where the blood vessel is narrowed.
Corindus, a micro-cap worth about $150 million, markets the CorPath system, the first FDA-cleared robotic-assisted system for PCI. It is designed to improve precision in stent placement during PCI procedures. Additionally, it makes the procedure easier for the cardiologist: instead of wearing heavy lead protective gear, an interventional cardiologist operates the device from a radiation-shielded workstation. Acist’s CVi, a “smart contrast injection system,” simplifies contrast injection while improving safety, efficiency, control and image quality, while its RXi FFR system provides accurate and reliable fractional flow reserve readings.
“This collaboration is the first step towards realizing this vision by providing innovative solutions to optimize workflow, improve safety, and eventually enhance patient care,” said Corindus CEO Mark Toland, in the statement.
Corindus and Acist will initially work with Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, MN to improve PCI workflow, but the duo has a bigger goal in mind. “We look forward to furthering the reach of Corindus and ACIST so that more clinicians and patients can benefit from these advanced technologies,” said Acist COO Tom Morizio, in the statement.
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