Philips introduces new products to help medical professionals detect heart problems sooner and avoid invasive procedures

Andover 08 November 2004Continuing its legacy of delivering innovations that advance cardiovascular care, Royal Philips Electronics has unveiled an impressive roster of products that were showcased at the 2004 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association (AHA). Among these advanced new products are the Philips iE33 intelligent echocardiography system; the Allura FD20 flat detector X-ray system; and the Allura 3D Coronary Angiography heart imaging tool, which recently received market clearance.


"Whether it's providing clinicians with tools to diagnose with more speed and accuracy or giving patients added comfort and peace of mind when undergoing testing, Philips has always been committed to delivering solutions that enable better patient outcomes", stated John Steidley, Ph.D., vice president, diagnostic imaging, for Philips Medical Systems. "This commitment is embodied in our new brand promise, Sense and Simplicity. The cardiovascular products on display at AHA help fulfil this brand promise, based on the fact that they are advanced technologies that are designed around what physicians and patients want and need to make their lives easier."

This year's AHA meeting also demonstrates how Philips strategic alliances with prominent heart health institutions continue to flourish. For example, Philips strategic alliance with the Cleveland Clinic took centre stage during a cardiac CT symposium titled, "Cleveland Clinic Presents State of the Art in Cardiac CT - The New Revolution in Cardiac Imaging". The educational programme included a live case delivered via satellite from the Cleveland Clinic using the Philips Brilliance 40 CT system, a 40-channel configuration system that offers expanded coverage and fast acquisitions for high quality images and unsurpassed clinical capabilities.

"Philips understands the importance of collaborating with cardiologists and leading medical research institutions to develop the most advanced, technically sound, yet easy-to-use equipment", stated Dr. Steidley. "Philips has forged strong relationships, which have yielded valuable insights that will ultimately benefit cardiologists, as well as patients."

Combining extraordinary levels of 2D image quality, next-generation Live 3D Echo imaging, revolutionary 2D and 3D cardiac quantification, and breakthrough system ergonomics, the new iE33 intelligent echocardiography system delivers powerful performance. The iE33 is the first premium echocardiography system to have fully integrated 3D cardiac quantification software (QLAB 3DQ) for measurement of the left ventricle volume and ejection fraction - the amount of blood pumped out of the heart with each contraction, key indicators of heart health. Previously, doctors had to estimate the calculation of ejection fraction. Now, QLAB eliminates the guesswork and provides a consistent and accurate measurement. The system can also analyse wall motion in 17 different segments of the heart simultaneously, so physicians can identify areas of dysfunction and make treatment decisions. Physicians can get answers sooner to improve patient care and peace of mind.

The system's new Explora family of transducers includes the S5-1 with PureWave crystal technology, the biggest breakthrough in transducer material in 40 years and a significant advance in the ability to deliver high-quality images of the beating heart. The new iE33 system is compatible with Philips Xcelera cardiology information solutions portfolio, which is able to accept, view, navigate 3D volume, quantify, and archive the 3D DICOM images generated by the iE33. Also, customers currently working with Philips EnConcert have the opportunity to upgrade their system to Xcelera while maintaining their existing data, to take full advantage of the iE33's capabilities.

In addition to delivering superb technical performance, the iE33 system goes one step further by offering unmatched comfort for its users. Research has found that 80 percent of sonographers have experienced work-related pain. The iE33 system boasts a number of user-friendly features, including a unique ergonomic design that's fully adjustable, hands-free voice command, one-button automated optimization controls for quick and consistent image acquisition between users of varying skill levels, and an easy-to-use interface.

"Philips developed the iE33 system to meet the growing needs of cardiologists who want an advanced diagnostic device that is also fast, accurate and simple to use", explained Steve Anderson, director of cardiology marketing, ultrasound, for Philips Medical Systems. "This system will enable medical professionals to achieve diagnosis more rapidly and with greater confidence."

Both the Allura Xper FD20 and the Allura 3D-CA provide unparalleled detailed representation of the condition of the heart's coronary vessels. Powered by Philips unique 2k x 2k imaging chain, the Allura Xper FD20 captures and processes information at a resolution up to four times greater than conventional systems. StentBoost, Philips exclusive interventional tool that provides a clear view of stent deployment in coronary arteries, is also available, allowing clinicians to immediately take corrective action, potentially eliminating the need for additional costly procedures.

Developed in collaboration with scientists at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and deemed a breakthrough interventional tool by cardiologists, the Allura 3D-Coronary Angiography (3D-CA) software/tool provides 3D images of the coronary arteries that were previously unavailable with 2D images. These 3D images, which the Allura 3D-CA produces from multiple viewpoints and angles, will enable clinicians to make faster decisions, more confident diagnoses and ultimately design better treatment-planning methods. The Allura 3D-CA received clearance to market in late September.

The clinical advantages of Philips Rate Responsive technologies, a collection of advanced image acquisition and reconstruction tools specifically developed for cardiac imaging, are currently being used by clinical researchers as part of a landmark comparative study of cardiac CT imaging versus Quantitative Catheter Angiography (QCA).

Currently, the gold standard for evaluating the extent and severity of arterial blockage is the coronary angiography, an invasive procedure that is administered under local anaesthesia. In pursuit of identifying new, non-invasive approaches to evaluating coronary heart disease, researchers have initiated the Coronary Assessment by Computed Tomographic Scanning and Catheter Angiography (CATSCAN) study.

The CATSCAN study is being implemented by a group of international researchers as a large, multi-centre, prospective and double-blinded study. CATSCAN is intended to investigate whether evaluation using CT is a suitable alternative for many patients previously sent for an invasive catheterization procedure.

"Heart disease has always been a major health concern, but as the population ages, this condition, and the need to detect and treat it earlier, will gain even greater prominence", stated Phil Prather, director of cardiology CT, for Philips Medical Systems. "As former President Clinton's recent emergency bypass surgery showed us, even seemingly healthy adults are vulnerable. The graveness of his condition was only revealed once he received an angiography. With the CATSCAN study, we're trying to find a new way to detect coronary artery disease."

Philips also showcased a number of other products and technologies at this year's AHA meeting. Recently cleared to market in the United States, the Brilliance CT Private Practice CV Configuration assists cardiologists in examining and treating cardiac patients with fast, non-invasive, highly accurate insight. The Private Practice CV Configuration reduces the need for other time-consuming tests, enabling fast results within 15-30 minutes, to better determine treatment strategy before spending valuable time with alternative exams. Specifically designed for, and restricted to, the analysis of cardiac and peripheral vasculature, the Brilliance CT Private Practice CV Configuration can assess heart disease and help reduce the reliance on and expense of other tests. The user-friendly system provides an exciting new tool for cardiologists, while preserving the clinical practice of traditional CT for radiologists.

The Philips EP Planning package is a pre- and post-procedural planning tool that enables clinicians to obtain an anatomic view of the left atrium and the pulmonary veins before carrying out an interventional RF ablation procedure for treating arrhythmia. Additionally, this application could potentially be used to help with the placement of the bi-ventricular pacing (BVP) leads. The application would assist in patient follow-up to assure that pulmonary vein stenosis does not develop.

Philips Xcelera WebForum is a new web-based results distribution solution that provides instant access to images and reports in Xcelera from any location, at any time. This new addition to the Xcelera cardiology information solutions portfolio is designed to facilitate hospital needs, whether they call for supporting on-call duty at home, sharing knowledge within the facility or simply improving the level of patient care.

Philips Xcelera 3D Ultrasound Quantification package provides access to 3D ultrasound volume datasets from the iE33 cardiovascular ultrasound system with the ability to view, crop, rotate, quantify and archive exams. Users can perform the following 3D measurements: distance, area, length, LV volumes, LV mass, and ejection fraction utilizing the BiPlane Simpson's method of Disks.

Philips Allura Xper and HaemoSphere with Xcelera Cath Lab Management improves productivity and speeds up access to exposure data and haemodynamics through one desktop application, thus clinical diagnosis and finalization of reports can be accomplished more quickly.

Philips EasyCoronaries 3D volume rendered coronaries enables clinicians to create stunning 3D representations of the heart and the coronaries. It is a simple whole-heart free-breathing technique requiring just one scan without the need for contrast agent. EasyCoronaries combines the excellent 3D acquisition capabilities of the current product with novel methods of 3D volume rendering for display on the ViewForum workstation.

Optimized specifically for cardiac imaging, Achieva CV enables fast, easy routine cardiac MR with benefits of non-invasive diagnostics and improved soft tissue definition. ExamCards - complete clinical studies selectable at a single touch - enhance ease-of-use and drastically reduce exam set-up time. The new PhysioTrak integrated patient handling and monitoring system enables fast patient set-up, continuous patient monitoring and fast evacuation if needed. Philips Vector Cardiogram (VCG) enables near-100 percent triggering and gating accuracy for cardiac patients, even patients with severely disturbed ECG patterns. The Coronary Artery Imaging package enables visualization of the coronary arteries and 2D and 3D full heart volume imaging in a simple, reliable procedure for routine clinical use.

Built on Philips strong heritage in patient monitoring, the MP20 and MP30 monitors extend the IntelliVue monitoring capabilities portfolio into lower acuity care environments and are suitable for transfer. They broaden the power of the IntelliVue Clinical Network into new care areas, enabling patient information continuity and seamless information flow.

Philips Impedance Cardiography (ICG) continuously measures haemodynamic parameters without the associated risks of traditional invasive methods. ICG is based on enhanced thoracic electrical bio-impedance technology, which allows a simple, quick, and easy method for clinicians to perform haemodynamic assessment or continuous monitoring of a patient's haemodynamic status. ICG provides measurement of 12 different haemodynamic parameters in addition to non-invasive blood pressure, which can facilitate more rapid decision-making in differentiating causes of dyspnea and hyper/hypotension. Philips ICG measurement is easy to use and ideal for haemodynamic evaluation of adult patients in the emergency department, step-down units, special procedure areas, and other areas where non-invasive continuous haemodynamic monitoring is required.

Philips PageWriter Trim new series of 12-lead diagnostic cardiographs dramatically streamline the way ECGs are taken, read, stored and transmitted. This new line of cardiographs offers low-cost, scalable solutions for fast-paced clinical environments. PageWriter Trim I is an innovative cardiograph designed to produce quality, high-resolution ECG printouts at the point of care. It has been specifically developed to meet the needs of cost-conscious users without compromising 12-lead quality or sophistication. The PageWriter Trim I is compact and configured with a cart for easy transport, and includes a tray to keep supplies and accessories close to the user. The Philips 12-Lead Algorithm is optional.

The PageWriter Trim II is a new non-interpretive cardiograph that enables users to view a high-resolution monochrome display. Its native XML implementation establishes an open ECG standard to facilitate information sharing throughout the enterprise. It is also configured with a cart for easy transport and includes a tray to keep supplies and accessories close to the user. Patient images can be seen clearly, allowing for accurate and precise diagnosis.

The PageWriter Trim III is an interpretive cardiograph that combines ease-of-use features with a high-resolution full-colour display and flexibility to meet the needs of fast-paced clinical environments. This full-featured cardiograph's native XML implementation establishes an open ECG standard to facilitate information sharing and offers multiple information sharing options, such as MAG card, SMART card scanner and modem card. PageWriter Trim III includes the Philips 12-lead Algorithm.

Royal Philips Electronics of The Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of $32,8 billion in 2003. With activities in the three interlocking domains of health care, lifestyle and technology and 166.800 employees in more than 60 countries, it has market leadership positions in medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, colour television sets, electric shavers, lighting and silicon system solutions.

Leslie Versweyveld

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