August 16, 2019 by Peter B. Laird
Baptist Health Doctors Co-Develop Azurion with FlexArm Imaging Technology
Known worldwide as an innovative leader in cardiovascular procedures and technology, Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute recently unveiled Azurion with FlexArm: a new advance in imaging technology designed to make it easier for doctors to perform image guided procedures for heart and vascular disease.
The technology was co-developed with Philips over a three-year period inside the Institute’s advanced imaging laboratory, a spacious interventional operating suite created to handle the most complex image-guided procedures.
(Watch Now: The Baptist Health News Team hears from Barry T. Katzen, M.D., founder and chief medical executive of Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, and Constantino Pena, M.D., an interventional radiologist and Medical Director of Vascular Imaging at the Institute, about the Azurion with FlexArm.)
“With FlexArm, Philips’ engineers have overcome near-impossible geometric and mechanical barriers to enable clinicians to achieve clinical excellence in image guided therapy,” said Barry T. Katzen, M.D., founder and chief medical executive of Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute.
Easier imaging of the entire patient during procedures
The FlexArm can move on eight different axes, controlled by a single operator. As the system moves, the image beam maintains alignment with the patient, allowing more consistent visualization throughout the treatment.
“We’re able to image from any angle, any side,” said Constantino Pena, M.D., an interventional radiologist and Medical Director of Vascular Imaging at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute. “It allows us to image a patient in both 2D and 3D from head to toe, arm to arm, throughout very complicated cases without necessarily needing to move the patient or the physicians.”
This flexibility is particularly useful as interventional procedures become more complex, requiring larger multidisciplinary teams of clinicians to work together at the bedside in a highly coordinated manner.
The Institute is the first cardiovascular center in North America to use the FlexArm technology, which it debuted in January during a live case beamed to hundreds of cardiovascular specialists during the annual International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET), in Ft. Lauderdale.
Dr. Pena credits Dr. Katzen for shepherding this latest innovation from concept to reality.
“The development of the FlexArm is an incredible story,” Dr. Pena says. “It was Dr. Katzen’s vision to create a new type of geometry that would answer the questions and the problems that we face daily with our cases. This is just one more step in pushing the envelope for our patients so they know they will receive the best care at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute.”