The new system, known as the Interventional Cardiology Training Simulator (ICTS), will accurately reproduce the physics and physiology of the human cardiovascular system in the thorax and enable users to learn how to perform cardiac catheterisation. The system incorporates a haptic feedback interface to give physicians a both natural and realistic way to interact with the simulation. An instructional system is linked to the simulation to provide a learning environment framework.
The training simulation will also contain a series of modules which replicate the haemodynamics, blood flow and dye contrast media mixing, and provide catheter-vasculature physical interaction. An additional module produces a synthetic x-ray image, in order to replicate the fluoroscopic image utilised by interventional cardiologists to guide these surgeons during their work. The complex mathematics of the simulation are being adapted from the standard cardiovascular modelling and analysis literature.
According to John Hough, Managing Director of Virtual Presence, Guidant's selection of Virtual Presence to create this new product constitutes a strong endorsement of the company's expertise in the development of solutions for minimally invasive therapy, an area which it has been focusing on for more than five years with considerable success. The first medical product, MIST, an endoscopic skills trainer, forms currently part of a multi-site trial in the United States and has received notable acclaim by authorities in the field of medical education. There is now general agreement amongst the medical community that virtual reality systems provide an efficient, cost-effective and safe means of delivering high-quality training programmes in the health care industry.
Dr. Christian Homsy, who is Director of the Guidant Europe Cardiovascular Institute and of Guidant Vascular Intervention Clinical Research for Europe, commented: "We are very pleased to offer to all our customers Virtual Presence's state-of-the-art technology. Our investment in the new Guidant Europe Cardiovascular Institute is a reflection on Guidant's commitment to our physicians' customers, and is even more important as the introduction of new technologies accelerates. Virtual Presence technology will help our physicians' customers embrace innovative techniques even more rapidly and safely."
Virtual Medical Worlds Community partner, Virtual Presence Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of MUSE Technologies, provides interactive 3-D computer-based business solutions to European defence, medical and manufacturing industries and is an established supplier of training, evaluation, diagnostic and simulation hardware and software to hospitals and medical research groups in the United Kingdom and other countries. Virtual Presence has offices in London, Manchester and Paris. In turn, MUSE Technologies is an international leader in the development of perceptual computing software for data visualisation and network collaboration.