Medtronic, Philips to develop imaging-guided afib cryoablation system

A control room featuring Philips' Kodex-EPD system (Philips International B.V.)(Philips International N.V.)

Two of the world’s top 10 medtech companies have begun working together on a cryogenic therapy featuring an integrated, real-time guidance system for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

Diagnostic imaging mainstay Philips will supply its Kodex-EPD dielectric vision and navigation platform—along with specialized, cryoablation-focused additions and clinical software—while Medtronic will provide its line of Arctic Front Advance catheters.

In addition, Medtronic will “facilitate the sales of products on behalf of Philips” under the collaboration, as they work on the paroxysmal atrial fibrillation treatment that aims to reduce the need for X-ray imaging. The integrated solution is expected to roll out to the U.S. and Europe by the end of the year.

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“This integrated solution can guide physicians during the treatment of AF patients with ablation, as they can view detailed, CT-like 3D anatomy,” Philips EPD solutions business leader Marlou Janssen said in a statement.

“Today, this technology is simplifying navigation, and in the future it has potential for a wide range of applications, including addressing the key unmet need of real-time therapy assessment—one of the more significant limitations of the current standard of care,” Janssen said.

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During a pulmonary vein isolation procedure, the real-time system will be used to confirm the position of Medtronic’s mapping catheter. Philips is working on balloon visualization capabilities, as well.

The Kodex system also includes heart-mapping capabilities that keep track of a patient’s movement during both cryo and heat-energy radiofrequency ablation procedures.