Partnership to develop training system for complex valve-in-valve procedures

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Montreal Heart Institute (photo: icm-mhi.org)

Biomodex and the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI, Montreal, Canada) are partnering to develop a new training solution to help cardiologists rehearse and train for complex valve-in-valve procedures.

The teams will collaborate to develop several case-specific 3D-printed models of mitral and aortic valves that they will use to simulate patient-specific procedures ahead of the real-life case to validate the training solution. The models will be used with a specialised station and cardiac pump, allowing the valves to open and close to mimic a beating heart. Physicians will also be able to measure the pressure within the chamber to ensure proper haemodynamics.

“Physicians often tell us they are impressed by how well our structural heart solution simulates the feel, friction, and haptic feedback of real heart tissue and blood vessels. Simulating valve movement goes well beyond that—and will take our solution to the next level. We are essentially delivering a complex system that replicates a beating heart with valves that open and close as blood moves through,” said Ziad Rouag, president and CEO of Biomodex. “The team here at Montreal Heart Institute has the expertise to make our vision a reality, and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate.”

“We believe Biomodex’s biorealistic haptic simulators will facilitate and improve training and case-specific rehearsal in structural heart procedures,” said Walid Ben Ali, cardiac surgeon at MHI. “We are excited to develop with Biomodex new cutting-edge training tools that have the potential to reshape how cardiovascular care is delivered.”

Biomodex’s 3D anatomies are based on the patient’s unique medical images. Models are made of advanced materials that simulate the biomechanical characteristics and haptic feedback of the anatomy. The station replicates blood flow and viscosity and is ultrasound compatible. In addition to boosting physicians’ preparedness and confidence, the solution is expected to reduce surgical and medical errors, procedural and hospitalization costs, and improve acute and chronic outcomes.

Physicians at MHI have previously used the Biomodex left atrial appendage closure system simulator to rehearse the full procedure of a left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO). This was the first time this was done in North America using a bio-realistic haptic simulator.

“The future of medicine resides in utilising technology to provide our patients with better, personalised care solutions,” said Jean-Claude Tardif, director of MHI’s Research Center, professor of medicine at Université de Montréal, and holder of the Canada Research Chair in personalised medicine. “Using case-specific 3D printed models will allow our cardiologists to rehearse procedures on a replica of their patients’ mitral and aortic valves and therefore minimise risks and improve clinical outcomes.”


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