Knowing that patients recovering from Covid-19 are at increased risk for cardiac arrhythmias is one factor that helps find ways to effectively identify potential sources of arrhythmias in recovered patients. An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat - in other words, patients with the condition see their heart beating too fast or too slow, or with an irregular pattern.
Current arrhythmia mapping methods require a catheter to navigate the heart and map potential sources of arrhythmia, which is not only invasive, but also time-consuming and laborious.
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But Vector Medical, based in San Diego, Calif., is trying to offer an alternative. He announced last week that University of California, San Diego Health has become the first hospital to use its FDA-cleared vMap technology to map the heart during cardiac ablation procedures. Ablation applies heat or cold therapy through a catheter to block erratic electrical signals in an attempt to restore a typical heart rhythm.
Vector Medical says its vMap technology is non-invasive, quick and less labor intensive than current catheter-based mapping methods. The technology is able to identify potential sources of arrhythmias anywhere in the heart using only data from an ECG. This non-invasive method identifies sources of stable and unstable arrhythmias in the four chambers of the heart, the septal wall and the outflow tracts. No catheter is required, nor patient exposure to increased radiation due to prolonged fluoroscopic use.
"vMap is the first technology developed to identify both focal and fibrillation sources of arrhythmias anywhere in the heart in less than three minutes using only data from a standard 12-lead ECG," said Mike Monko, co-founder and CEO of Vector in an email. .
vMap atrial fibrillation mapping.
Vector hopes his product will reduce procedure time and improve first pass ablation success because his system consolidates the mapping process and provides 2D and 3D hot spot maps of the entire heart.
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“The advantage of this method is that the doctor spends less time looking for the source and can quickly focus on the target area. In fact, users have told us that vMap could have saved them hours of knowing where to go first,” Monko explained.
According to a press release, Vector promotes vMap's ability to map sources of arrhythmias on its own, without the need for additional equipment or imaging. However, it should be noted that if desired, vMap can act as a supplement to traditional invasive electroanatomical mapping systems, which according to a press release may be applicable in both planning and procedural settings.