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 failure (HF).

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 minutes.

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 physicians.

"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."


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