Arrhythmic heartbeat doesn’t sound too bad, does it? In reality, it is everything from annoying, through tiring, to being dangerous. Cardiovascular diseases are listed as the top cause of death among Poles, according to the Government Population Council’s study, and it’s proven that a long-lasting arrhythmia can lead to ventricular fibrillation, a sudden cardiac arrest or a stroke.
This year we may all breathe a little easier because Medinice promises to introduce some needed changes in the treatment of arrhythmia. They have created MiniMax, a catheter that will be used during ablation, a medical procedure that helps to treat patients with arrhythmia by destroying the abnormal tissue that causes it.
Up till now, it was conducted using two or more flexible catheters which were inserted into the patient’s body through the femoral vein, the internal jugular vein or the subclavian vein. Then, the area is analysed by the first catheter so that the second one can perform the ablation. Also, x-ray is used throughout the procedure, so pregnant women were excluded from this treatment.
But don’t worry! MiniMax will revolutionise ablation. Its secret lies in a combination of the two catheters mentioned above into one. “The electrode is used to diagnose and treat arrhythmia in the least invasive way possible, by sending high-energy RF signals from the end of the very same catheter. During the procedure of ablation using MiniMax, a catheter will be inserted into the patient’s blood vessel. The 3D mapping technology will allow it to locate the source of the arrhythmia, that is the faulty electrical pathway, and then fix it, all during the same procedure, using just one catheter,” says Professor Sebastian Stec, the inventor and the co-author of MiniMax.
That’s wonderful news! An operation than today takes several hours will now last much shorter. Moreover, MiniMax uses 3D mapping to diagnose the problematic area which eliminates the need for x-ray, making the ablation not only safer for the patients but also much cheaper. Fifty volunteers will be able to try it during clinical tests very soon, at the end of 2018. Afterwards, it will be distributed to more hospitals in Poland and abroad for further testing. Yay!
MiniMax heralds a significant development of Polish medicine industry. According to the British pharmaceutical company, Episcom, it will soon be worth $3M (over $10M PLN), which is 50% more than in 2013. There’s a truly bright future ahead of us!