St Jude Atlas heart failure devices gain European approval
13 Oct 2006
St. Paul, Minn., USA. The Atlas II ICD and Atlas II defibrillators from
St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ) have received European CE Mark approval.
The two devices are the newest of the company's high-powered devices for
treatment of patients with potentially lethal heart arrhythmias and heart
The Atlas II implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and the
Atlas II HF cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D)
devices include advanced features that provide more tailored therapy and
speed follow-up visits for physicians and patients.
The Atlas II devices also take advantage of the company's newly
released QuickOpt feature, which helps physicians improve patient
outcomes by providing programmer-based optimization in less than two
minutes. The QuickOpt feature electrically characterizes the conduction
properties of the heart and uses an exclusive algorithm to calculate the
optimal timing values, allowing for efficient and frequent optimization
during routine device follow-up visits. The QuickOpt feature has proven
comparable to a traditional echocardiography (echo) procedure for
determining optimal device settings; however, echo optimization can be
costly and time-consuming and typically takes between 30 and 120
In addition, the Atlas II devices offer significantly enhanced
telemetry speed for faster communications — up to five times faster than
predecessor devices — which results in quicker, more convenient
follow-up visits for patients and physicians.
Another innovative feature is a "patient notifier" that gently
vibrates to alert patients, including those who have difficulty hearing,
of critical changes in device function so they know to contact their
"Enhanced technology makes the devices much faster to use, especially
when downloading stored electrograms. The vibrating patient notifier
will benefit patients who may have difficulty hearing the audio alerts
that have been standard to the industry," said Dr. Alexander Bauer,
Ruprecht Karls Universität Heidelberg, Germany (Head: Prof. Dr. Hugo A.
Katus), who recently implanted an Atlas II VR ICD.
Dr. Christian Lampersberger, who implanted an Atlas II+ DR ICD at
Landesklinikum St. Pölten, Austria, also believes the device will save
significant time and spare patients from additional procedures. "The
DeFT Response feature is very beneficial in that it provides a way to
noninvasively manage those who may experience high defibrillation
thresholds," said Dr. Lampersberger. "Also, the QuickOpt optimization
feature is exciting new technology, as it will help to provide more
tailored therapy for patients and save clinic time."