Abbott launches virtual reality training programme for cardiologists using OCT imaging technology


Abbott has announced the global release of its first virtual reality-based training programme designed to change training for interventional cardiologists in the use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging technology.

The new training programme incorporates virtual reality (VR) with traditional training techniques to increase experience and expertise in using Abbott’s OCT imaging and improve outcomes in patients needing a stent to open clogged arteries.

OCT is an intracoronary imaging platform designed to help physicians view and assess coronary arteries from inside the vessel with high precision. This allows for an improved look at the nature of a patient’s coronary artery disease to improve treatment decisions and the quality of stent deployment, Abbott said in a press release. Recent data show that in 88% of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) procedures managed with OCT workflow, physician decision-making changed compared with initial, angiographically-guided strategy, demonstrating that OCT imaging can help to drive better clinical outcomes.

“It’s undeniable that OCT imaging technology is unlocking new opportunities to improve outcomes for our patients. Abbott’s new VR training program has provided my team the experience of being in the cath lab and understanding OCT technology quickly and efficiently,” said Vamsi Krishna, director, Ascension, Seton Hays Medical Center, Kyle, USA. “The OCT VR program enhances training for OCT imaging technology through innovative educational programs. Virtual reality is truly the next wave of training that will ultimately improve patient outcomes and I’m very excited to be a part of the new programme.”

Abbott’s OCT virtual reality-based training programmes, powered by Oculus Go, will dramatically enhance decision-making for physicians who utilise OCT instead of angiography. The training is based on the comprehensive OCT experience and input of Richard A. Shlofmitz, chairman of cardiology at St Francis Hospital, The Heart Center, Roslyn, USA.

“Abbott’s new OCT training enables interventional cardiologists to receive more in-depth, experiential training to encourage more precise diagnoses, while healthcare systems will experience cost savings through a reduction in the number of staff training courses needed,” said Harvinder Singh, vice president, global commercial operations of Abbott’s vascular business. “Furthermore, the virtual reality training program will not only enhance accuracy to improve patient outcomes, but it also furthers the industry’s adoption of innovative technologies in healthcare.”

“Virtual reality-based training programs are truly changing the way interventional cardiologists learn and adopt new technologies, such as OCT, that are helping physicians make better decisions in the cath lab,” said Nick West, divisional vice president, medical affairs, and chief medical officer of Abbott’s vascular business. “The programme is also furthering Abbott’s ability to use technology and innovations to drive better patient outcomes.”


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