News | January 12, 2011

SCAI Publishes Commentary on Future Cath Labs

January 12, 2011 – The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) has published a paper on the future trends and developments in the cardiac catheterization laboratory and interventional vascular suite. The paper, titled "The Catheterization Laboratory and Interventional Vascular Suite of the Future: Anticipating Innovations in Design and Function," appears in the current issue of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.

It features predictions on the future of these medical spaces, including advances in technology and design as well as changes in function, staffing and economics. Specifically, it says that improvements and innovations will be stimulated by patients’ needs.

Advancements in medical technology accompanied by improved patient outcomes have led to an increase in the number of catheter-based therapies performed by clinicians. This trend is expected to continue with the discovery of novel techniques and superior medical technology. As science continues to guide medical advancement, the design and functionality of the cath lab and interventional vascular suite will likely continue to evolve. To achieve this, the paper recommends working with teams of physicians, scientists, regulators and manufacturers to create a functional suite for patients and staff.

"The future of the catheterization lab and interventional vascular suite is exciting to think about as we seek to continue improving patient care through minimally invasive techniques," said Lloyd Klein, M.D., FSCAI, professor of medicine at Rush Medical College and lead author of the paper. "As new therapies are pioneered we have the opportunity to collaborate and provide patients with state-of-the art facilities that ensure the highest quality of service and care, while offering a functional and safe medical environment for both patients and staff."

Medical advancements have also shifted trends in cardiac care, including a new case mix with fewer diagnostic catheterizations, earlier diagnosis of blocked arteries and increased use of combined (or hybrid) procedures. The number of structural heart disease patients treated with catheter-based treatments is likely to increase, as will patients treated for valvular disease.

According the paper, the future cath labs will likely include design and technology features such as:
• Robotic catheter manipulation directed by advanced imaging systems

• Miniaturization of therapeutic devices

• Integration of visual and other data from multiple sources, including the availability of archival solutions that are easily available and transferable to other medical professionals for consultation

• Advanced digital imaging, detailed 3-dimensional reconstruction and molecular imaging

• Utilization of virtual interfaces, trial procedures using virtual reality, and intelligent navigation during a procedure

• A dedicated information technology staff to manage ever-changing hardware, applications and monitoring programs that improve efficiency, eliminate disparate information and improve patient satisfaction

The paper also forecasts the future functionality of the cath lab, predicting two different interventional laboratory types. The first will be reminiscent of today's cath lab but will include greater diagnostic capability and improved patient comfort through decoration, lighting and diversions. The second will be a much larger alternative surgical suite equipped with large and complex imaging modalities and used for more complex procedures. This suite would be staffed and equipped to accommodate open surgery procedures, something not common in today's labs. Additionally, the lab design will minimize patient and staff radiation dose, allow for database consolidation and pooled learning, incorporate a sophisticated storage and inventory management system, and improve catheter navigation and device placement.

For more information: www.scai.org/asset.axd?id=5339d216-2efe-4a71-bee6-d602815eac4a&t=634302607018830000

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