UW Health, the academic medical center and health system of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is using a new approach to computed tomography (CT) guided procedures. It is the first U.S. hospital to acquire the Imactis CT-Navigation system, which can be used during percutaneous interventional radiological procedures performed under CT such as tumor ablations, biopsies, musculoskeletal interventions, and other needle-based interventions, Imactis reported in a news release.
With the Imactis CT-Navigation system, a “radiologist can select and check a needle’s planned trajectory in real time, by the patient’s side, as opposed to remotely from the control room, with static images,” Georges Tabary, Imactis's CEO, told MD+DI.
According to a video posted to YouTube, a fiducial from Imactis is placed on the patient’s skin and a CT image is acquired by a traditional CT unit and automatically transferred to the Imactis station that is wheeled up to the patient lying on the CT bed. The radiologist uses the Imactis needle holder to spot the target and plot the injection trajectory on the patient, without using the CT console.
Tabary called the Imactis CT Navigation system a “universal solution that works with all thoraco-abdominal organs, all CTs, and all needles,” and it “works well with beginners as well as experts.” It requires “very short setup (3 minutes versus 20 minutes with most other solutions)."
A study published in 2017, “Computer assisted electromagnetic navigation improves accuracy in computed tomography guided interventions: A prospective randomized clinical trial,” found that use of the system improved target accuracy by 50%.
According to Tabary, “the Madison team has become an intensive user in just 2 weeks," adding that "they particularly enjoy added safety during procedures.” He explained that “using navigation to help plan and guide needles provides UWH users with increased safety,” and that “the UW team has expressed particular satisfaction with the lower radiation doses delivered to patients and staff.”
The system also saves time (a 10-minute intervention versus a 30-minute one without navigation). “Duration predictability means better interventional room throughput. Increased safety means less costly complications,” he said.
When asked whether there are any challenges to using the system, Tabary said that “like all new tools,” there is a “learning curve,” but he calls it a “short” one. “Imactis keeps track of usage. As per EU regulations (CE mark), the company prepares well-documented post-market surveys, which among others provide evidence of the learning curve. The latest survey shows a mean learning curve of 6 procedures.”
The CT Navigation system is CE marked and received U.S. FDA 510(k) clearance in 2018. It has been installed in 50 hospitals in Europe and has already been used in more than 6,000 interventions, according to Imactis.