Immersion Medical releases new modules for Endovascular AccuTouch System

San Jose 17 October 2005Immersion Medical Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Immersion Corporation, a developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, has launched Advanced Coronary Interventions and Carotid Artery Stenting modules for its Endovascular AccuTouch System. Physicians can train on these new modules in the Medical Simulation Pavilion at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics Scientific Symposium in Washington, D.C. The AccuTouch system is a comprehensive physics-based training tool that uses patented haptics technology to train physicians in navigating and cannulating diverse vascular anatomy.

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In addition, Immersion Medical is demonstrating all modules for the AccuTouch system at the symposium. These include Percutaneous Coronary Interventions; the new Advanced Percutaneous Coronary Interventions such as chronic total occlusions, acute myocardial infarctions, and challenging anatomy such as saphenous vein graft cannulation and tortuous anatomy; Percutaneous Peripheral Interventions with the new carotid module; and preliminary versions of Iliac Interventions and Renal Interventions.

The newly introduced modules assist in training procedures increasingly used by interventional cardiologists and radiologists. The trend over the past few years has been to treat arterial plaque build-up with angioplasty and stent placement, rather than with more invasive procedures such as open heart surgery and carotid endarterectomy. Of the approximately 6 million cardiac and vascular surgeries conducted annually in the United States, nearly half are diagnostic catheterizations and minimally invasive angioplasties, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasties, and stent implantations. In addition, half of all angioplasties today are performed on people over age 50. As the population ages, the number of cardiac and vascular surgeries is expected to increase. An estimated 36 percent of the United States population will be over age 50 by 2030.

"The health care field must be ready to handle these procedures effectively, accurately, and with minimal complications for the patient", stated Dr. Kevin Kunkler, medical director and vice president, Immersion Medical. "That is why the Endovascular AccuTouch simulator is so beneficial. It offers one of the best ways to assist in training the needed skills, techniques, and management of life-critical complications prior to actual patient contact. It allows trainees to increase their confidence and competence in a safe and realistic environment."

According to recent studies of patient safety, over 32.000 deaths and nearly $9 billion in health care costs annually result from all surgery-related interventions in the United States. Simulation allows trainees to increase their confidence and competence through repeated practice, which promotes patient safety.

The Endovascular AccuTouch System uses actual diagnostic and therapeutic devices, such as catheters, balloons, stents, and distal protection devices. A procedural-based system, it allows trainees to practise and repeat cases of varying levels of difficulty and to experience and manage common complications. The system's appropriately responsive physiology is reflected in vital-sign changes, haemodynamic wave tracings, and patient audio responses that enhance the decision-making process. An added benefit is the realistic haptic feedback that mimics the feel of the procedure. Visual aides, including the virtual 3D anatomy model and live fluoroscopy, help trainees understand the vascular anatomy. A comprehensive performance report automatically generated after completion of the simulated procedure allows for objective assessment of trainees.

Practising on the Endovascular AccuTouch System can help fellows meet the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), which call for a minimum of 300 cardiac catheterizations before training in coronary interventions, followed by a minimum of 12 months and at least 250 interventions.

"I think those who train with the Immersion Medical simulator achieve better performance, take less time to complete a procedure, and require fewer procedures to reach competency than those trained under the historical mentoring method", stated Dr. Alan Yeung, chief, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and director, Interventional Cardiology, Stanford University School of Medicine.

Immersion Medical Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Immersion Corporation, designs, manufactures, and markets computer-based medical training simulation systems worldwide. The systems integrate proprietary computer software with tactile feedback and anatomically appropriate models to create highly realistic medical procedure simulations that help train clinicians. The company's five key product lines are the CathSim AccuTouch System, the Endoscopy AccuTouch System, the Endovascular AccuTouch System, Laparoscopy AccuTouch System, and the Hysteroscopy AccuTouch System.

Founded in 1993, Immersion Corporation is a recognized expert in developing, licensing, and marketing digital touch technology and products. Bringing value to markets where man-machine interaction needs to be made more compelling, safer, or productive, Immersion helps its partners broaden market reach by making the use of touch feedback as critical a user experience as sight and sound. Immersion's technology is deployed across automotive, entertainment, medical training, mobility, personal computing, and three-dimensional simulation markets. Immersion's patent portfolio includes over 500 issued or pending patents in the United States and other countries. More company news can be found in the VMW December 2004 article Immersion Medical introduces educational Hysteroscopic Myomectomy CD.


Leslie Versweyveld

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