First Experiences With Robot Assisted Coronary Interventions in Finland and SwedenSödersjukhuset in Stockholm and Oulu University Hospital in Finland were the first hospitals in the northern Europe to try out robot assisted coronary intervention. 

Robotassisted PCI

The results so far is that the technology provides a better working environment with less radiation and higher precision in the procedures.

Robot-assisted PCI procedures are already established in the US, and Germany was the first country in Europe to utilize the technology. The main advantage using robot technology is a reduction in exposure to radiation during the procedure, which is important to the interventional cardiologists that are otherwise exposed to the most ionizing radiation.

<p>Matti Niemelä,&nbsp;</p>

Less radiation

Also at Södersjukhuset in Stockholm they see less radiation as the biggest advantage.

”I do not have to wear a heavy lead apron and lead glasses. The working position becomes more comfortable, which in the long run can contribute to less wear and tear on the body, says Ulf Jensen in a interview to the Swedish health magazine ”Dagens Medicin”. Read the whole article in Dagens Medicin here.

Niemelä in Finland considers it an advantage that through the help of robotics, the cardiologists are able to position the catheter with millimeter prescision. The robot technology has a built-in function to measure the length of the constrictions.

Corpath® GRX

During coronary angiography of patients with suspected coronary stenosis a catheter is inserted into the vascular system to the heart with an image guided angiography system. A Contrast fluid is injected into the bloodstream and any constrictions in the heart become visible on a monitor. In balloon dilation and stenting, commonly referred to as a PCI, of narrowed coronary arteries, the operator normally stands next to the patient and controls the instruments by hand. 

Using robot technology also has more advantages than less radiation. The robot’s algorithms make the work more standardized and can reduce variations. The robot is taught with the best techniques from cardiologists.

<p>Pasi Loukiainen</p>

More procedures under development

The use of the Corindus robot in Finland began with PCI procedures, but the device is also being developed for use in cerebrovascular procedures. Globally there has been performed robot-assisted stenting of the carotid artery and treatments for cerebral artery aneurysm, or cerebral artery bulge. In the future, robot-assisted thrombectomy, mechanical removal of cerebral artery occlusion, may also be possible.

In Finland, cardiac patients are treated in 23 hospitals, but only five university hospitals treat patients with cerebrovascular disorders. More use of remote robot-assisting, would make the expertise of the university hospitals available to other hospitals.

Robot assisted PCI

Isokangas, Deputy Chief Physician of Neuro interventional Radiology at Oulu University Hospital, believes that this kind of telemedicine could develop the speed of access to treatment for patients with cerebrovascular disorders. It also comes with another benefit he mentions.

“In addition to availability to new technology, hospitals also need specially trained staff and 24/7 care readiness. This is an even bigger issue than technology itself. A remote solution will obviously give more flexibility,” he says.

Pasi Loukiainen, CEO of EPS Vascular Finland, also believes that telecare is the future, and the Corindus device offers good opportunities for that.