GE Healthcare and Volcano Corporation to develop cath lab with X-ray and
5 November 2005
Waukesha, Wis. and Rancho Cordova, Calif., USA. GE Healthcare and Volcano
Corporation have announced a collaboration agreement to develop a
state-of-the-art digital cardiovascular imaging system with fully integrated
intravascular ultrasound imaging (IVUS) capabilities.
The integration of GE's best-of-class Innova all-digital X-ray cath lab
system with Volcano's new PC-based IVUS platform, is intended to give
interventional cardiologists a clear view of coronary and peripheral vessel
morphology. This visualization capability is intended to assist clinicians
in determining the extent of cardiovascular disease and in performing
therapeutic procedures such as stent placement. This is also intended to
help physicians determine the length of lesion and stent length.
Schematic of IVUS components and
images integrated into GE Innova Cath Lab. (PRNewsFoto)
Laura King, GE Healthcare's Global Vice President and General Manager,
Interventional, Cardiology and Surgery, said, "GE has sought opportunities
to integrate IVUS technology directly into our award-winning,
industry-leading Innova systems. Until the development of Volcano's PC-based
IVUS product, this leapfrog in technology has not been possible. We are
excited to work with another market leader to bring clinically relevant
value to the cath lab."
Scott Huennekens, President & CEO of Volcano Corporation, said "We have a
shared philosophy with GE: success in the marketplace is founded on
providing solutions that are both state-of-the-art and simple to use.
Technology for technology's sake is not the answer. We are dedicated to
meeting the clinical needs of our customers in a way that also simplifies
their lives and makes their own cath lab operations more efficient and more
cost-effective — all while allowing the physician to improve patient care.
This partnership is squarely focused on those goals."
Volcano's latest PC-based IVUS platform dramatically reduces the size,
weight and noise of the IVUS console, allowing the unit to be easily
attached to the patient table, in the control room or in other areas outside
of the daily traffic pattern of the cath lab. The integrated user interface
is set apart from current stand-alone systems that impose many practical
limitations on the regular use of IVUS. These factors will play a large part
in making it possible to develop the new integrated hardware and software
With more than 1,200 Innova all-digital X-ray systems installed
worldwide, GE and Volcano are poised to facilitate greater utilization of
IVUS to further guide patient management. As the clinical relevance of IVUS
has increased, particularly with the recent innovations in IVUS-based
on-line tissue characterization and IVUS/angio image co-registration, so too
has the market need for an integrated, easy-to-use system.
Columbia University, USA
Gregg Stone, MD, professor of Medicine at Columbia University College
of Physicians and Surgeons commented, "We use IVUS nearly every day in
our clinical practice. We do so because IVUS gives us information about
vessel morphology that you can't get anywhere else — and it highlights
angiographically silent or ambiguous disease that you just can't see on
angiograms. We do this in spite of the fact that IVUS has historically
been fairly cumbersome to use — with a stand-alone cart and stand-alone
images on a remote monitor. An integrated system from Volcano and GE has
the potential to increase the user-friendliness of IVUS and we would
welcome such a system."
Aalst Cardiovascular Centre, Belgium
Dr. William Wijns, MD, Co-Director, Cardiovascular Centre, Aalst,
Belgium, elaborated, "When you have a catheterized patient on the table,
often in the midst of an acute syndrome, you need your diagnostic and
therapeutic tools at the ready ... there for quick and simple
implementation. Many times it is just not an option to ask the staff to
roll in the IVUS, turn it on and wait for the system to boot up. We have
been asking for this advance from the IVUS companies for some time now.
We are thrilled that Volcano and GE have recognized the need and are
investing in developing this product.
Minneapolis Heart Institute and Foundation, USA
"IVUS, advanced 3D angiographic imaging techniques and non-invasive
imaging technologies such as MDCT/MSCTA and MRI hold the promise of
unlocking many important questions surrounding the cause and progression
of coronary and peripheral artery disease. Integrating information from
these modalities will permit a better understanding of this disease. The
integration of IVUS with angiographic systems — as envisioned in this
agreement between GE and Volcano — is an important step in making truly
integrated imaging feasible and practical for a wide array of
physicians" commented Robert S. Schwartz, MD, of the Minneapolis Heart
Institute and Foundation.
The system will require FDA clearance in the US and elsewhere and will be
co-marketed by the GE and Volcano sales and marketing organizations in the
US, Europe, certain markets in Asia and other world markets. GE will also
collaborate with Volcano to provide unparalleled cath lab design,
installation and field repair/service of this new system. Current GE cath
lab customers can modify existing cath lab rooms with the new integrated
IVUS system. Customers will be able to contract with one vendor, GE, for
their purchasing, installation and field service needs.
Prototypes of the new device were on display at the 17th Annual
Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) conference in Washington DC,