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New sensor-enabled mapping catheter helps detection of complex cardiac arrhythmias

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Dr Balbir Singh, Chairman Interventional Cardiology and Chairman Electrophysiology and Pacing, Medanta – The Medicity Hospital, Gurgaon elucidates on how Abbott’s new technology sensor-enabled mapping catheter helps in diagnosing complex arrhythmia

The rapid rise of cardiovascular disease has increased the need for more electrophysiologists. Can you share the benefits offered by electrophysiologists? Do we have enough number of electrophysiologists in the country?
With increase in cardiovascular disease burden, 272/100000, the arrhythmia burden is also on the rise. Increase in heart rhythm disorders have increased the demand for electrophysiologists. An electrophysiologist’s role is critical as they can prevent sudden cardiac death. They also treat dangerous heart rhythm issues called arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). Some of the examples are atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardias, supra-ventricular tachycardias etc. As per Indian Heart Rhythm Society (IHRS) we have close to 150 electrophysiologists in the country for a population of 1.25 billion countrymen whereas a country like the US has close to 2500 electrophysiologists for a population of 327 million. This clearly shows the huge gap between supply and demand.

What are the major changes you are seeing in the interventional cardiology space and how is latest technology like the remote monitoring via insertable cardiac monitor helping in cardiovascular disease?
The interventional cardiology space is expanding at lightning speed, and with technology getting dynamic as we speak, more and more patients are getting benefits of healthcare. Technologies like the insertable cardiac monitor help physicians in remote monitoring. This is one technological advancement which has improved the prognosis of cardiac arrhythmias manifold and has thus helped healthcare professionals extend therapy benefits well in advance.

How does Abbott’s new product, which is a sensor-enabled mapping catheter used in patients? Can you explain the features of the product which helps?
Abbott’s new product is a multi-point mapping catheter which is used to understand heart rhythm disorders in detail. The design of the catheter itself is unique which gives us a better understanding of the directionality of arrhythmia propagation and has helped in rapid identification of complex arrhythmias.

What are the advantages of the new product for patients with complex arrhythmias? As of now in how many patients this new technology is used. What is the result?
The new catheter helps in accurately mapping the source of rhythm disorder in the heart. It helps reduce procedural time. It significantly reduces radiation exposure to the patient and the physicians. In many cases, radiation may be completely avoided. The new catheter increases the success rate of the procedure and minimises the complications. So far, I have successfully treated five patients in a span of just a week since the launch.

Is Medanta doing any tele stenting, what are the advantages and risks involved in it?
No, not as yet, but it’s definitely on the wish list.

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