Catheters could soon feature medical positioning system technology, which would provide real-time position and orientation information for intrabody navigation.
The release of global positioning system (GPS) capabilities for automobiles has aided countless drivers in plotting a clear course to their destination, removing the uncertainty and frustration associated with getting lost. A GPS-inspired technology applied to medical devices could yield the same results.
Medical Positioning System (MPS) technology, developed by Israel-based medical device company MediGuide Ltd., is designed to help physicians navigate devices through the tortuous environment of the body. MPS provides real-time position and orientation information projected in a 2- or 3-D image on either live fluoroscopic or recorded backgrounds.
“Nothing [is on the market] with the same accuracy, physical sensor dimension, level of integration with imaging, and compensation for moving organs,” says Allon Guez, vice president of business development.
MPS-equipped sensors can be integrated into the tips of such devices as guidewires, catheters, stents, and balloons. Using proprietary electromagnetic technology, MPS technology enables tracking of the sub-millimeter-sized sensors within a magnetic field created by the MPS unit’s field generator. It draws from non-line-of-sight intrabody navigation methods; however, it is not limited by the drawbacks commonly associated with the technique, according to MediGuide. The company points to such disadvantages of the existing navigation technique as the need to maintain a continuous line of sight between the tracking cameras and visual designators on the device, and the inability to track nonrigid devices.
“MPS currently brings a better 3-D perspective to the physicians and facilitates ease of use and accuracy in the navigation of devices,” Guez says. “Once additional claims are clinically approved, it is also expected to reduce exposure to radiation and use of toxic dye, as well as to improve procedure flow.”
The technology recently received the CE mark for use in Europe, as did the first MPS-enabled guided measurement catheter, which can be used with conventional x-ray angioplasty systems featuring MPS, according to the company. In addition to positioning details, the system also provides quantitative length measurement, 3-D lumen construction, qualitative 3-D foreshortening indication, and landmarking.
Despite European consent, MPS and associated MPS-enabled products are not yet approved for use in the United States. FDA sanctioning could be on the horizon, however. Furthermore, in January, MediGuide signed a collaboration agreement with Medtronic for the development of MPS-enabled products in North America.
MediGuide Ltd., Haifa, Israel