ACC: St. Jude, Siemens partner to offer wireless FFR integration

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St. Jude Medical announced during ACC.10 a new marketing agreement with Siemens Healthcare that will allow integrated wireless fractional flow reserve (FFR) measurement with PressureWire Aeris as an upgrade to hospitals using the Siemens Axiom Sensis XP hemodynamic recording system.

The Aeris offers a wireless interface between PressureWire and a cath lab's hemodynamic recording system. With FFR results integrated into a patient's existing study record, the severity of coronary lesions is documented together with other procedural data and angiographic imagery. The wireless technology of the Aeris also can eliminate cables crossing the sterile field, according to St. Jude.

"We are moving away from a capital intensive business to a more disposable business," Johan Svanerudh, senior product manager for intravascular sensors, told Cardiovascular Business News. "We are removing all the practical barriers in the cath lab. We are taking away the cabling, taking away setup, taking away instrumentation and extra screens, making it plug and play without the plug."

The FFR algorithms are built into the hemodynamic system, Svanerudh said. "The only thing you need as capital is a small wireless receiver, which connects to the PressureWire Aeris."

St. Jude already has similar marketing agreements with GE Healthcare for integration with its Mac-Lab Hemodynamic Recording System and McKesson for its Horizon Cardiology Hemo solution.

The agreements with Siemens, GE and McKesson are on the systems side. St. Jude also announced improvements to the PressureWire. "The most important factor of the FFR pressure wire is the mechanical steering ability. We have improved the torquability and the malleability of the wire to make it more accessible in tortuous anatomies," Svanerudh said.

Specifically, the St. Paul, Minn.-based company developed a new co-wire grinding profile to maneuver in tortuous vessels, as well as a different chip design (where the pressure sensor is housed) to reduce the risk of prolapse when navigating vessels.

FFR measurements indicate the severity of blood flow blockages in the coronary arteries. This physiological measurement helps physicians to better identify which specific lesion or lesions are responsible for a patient's ischemia.