The future of AF ablation catheter technologies”: A New Report Reveals the Potential of Next Generation Technologies to Treat Atrial Fibrillation

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Design and technology consultancy Cambridge Design Partnership today
announces that it has completed a research project to identify the
future of medical technology to treat Atrial Fibrillation; a common and
dangerous Cardiac condition affecting millions of people across the
world. The report is designed to explore the emerging technologies that
will lead to innovation in this field, and provide an unparalleled
resource for organisations looking to develop treatments.

Atrial fibrillation is a type of cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart
beat) that affects up to 7 million people in Western Europe and the
United States alone. There has been a 66%1 increase in
associated hospital admissions in the last 20 years and these figures
are projected to grow over the coming decades2. Drugs are
used to treat the condition, but are less than 50% effective and often
have associated side effects. Atrial Fibrillation is a major
contributory factor to strokes, and if left untreated can lead to
congestive heart failure.

In the past, surgical treatments for Atrial Fibrillation required
open-heart access followed by full-thickness incisions through the
atrial walls. In recent times there has been a shift towards
low-invasive treatments using ablation catheters, with Radio Frequency
(RF) ablation being the leading method. With the annual cost per patient
at around $3,6003, the total cost of Atrial Fibrillation in
the EU is estimated to be about $15.7 billion.

Dr Keith Turner who achieved his PhD at Oxford University, UK, has
worked in medical device technology development for 20 years. He will
attending Heart
Rhythm 2012
9th-12th May, at the Boston Convention and
Exhibition Centre in Boston, MA, USA. The Heart Rhythm Society is the
international leader in science, education and advocacy for cardiac
arrhythmia professionals and Keith will be talking to other industry
professionals about the future of AF Catheter technology.

Drawing on a cross-section of top industry and clinical figures
including leading electrophysiologists, as well as its own extensive
experience in designing medical products, Cambridge Design Partnership’s
report describes the future of ablation catheter technology as a means
of treatment. It deals comprehensively and expertly with a wide range of
subjects, from fluidics, through thermal management and the monitoring
of lesion formation. Cambridge Design Partnership has been able to
compile a comprehensive review of current solutions and identify future
technologies that will form the fundamental drivers in this growing

Examples of enabling technologies that might feature in catheters in the
longer term, and which are included in the report, are MEMS
technologies, MRI-compliant components, force monitoring, advanced
imaging techniques, real-time thermal modelling, and plastic
electronics. All of these elements are currently undergoing exciting
developments that may well make them ideally suited to incorporation in
catheters within the coming years.

Major manufacturers are currently competing on efficacy of their
solutions. Several technologies are now being brought to market and the
quest for commercially successful, next generation ablation catheters
are driving a significant innovation effort across the industry. During
the research process Cambridge Design Partnership spoke to leading
electrophysiologists who described the drivers in their decision to
adopt a particular technology and the forthcoming directions that could
best meet their needs. The results found that the crucial goal was to
create repeatable, contiguous, lasting lesions, and that device choice
was substantially determined by the perception of the ability to achieve

Dr Keith Turner, Partner, Cambridge Design Partnership commented, “This
is a hugely important area in medical development. The market is
competing to create more effective ablation catheters and so the ability
to identify inspired engineering solutions and implement them rapidly
into new products is essential. The part I find most fascinating is
hearing the views of the electrophysiologists on each of the new
technologies currently under development because it implies that certain
projects need a change of direction if they are to provide a return on
investment. The report should prove interesting reading for senior
strategic marketing and RD managers who are directing these programmes.
As a result of this research we are now in a position to help accelerate
the progress of these vitally important technologies and offer companies
a true insight into the needs of the experts on the front line who are
treating this condition.”

An executive summary of the report is available of Cambridge Design
Partnership’s website
and the full report entitled ‘The future of AF ablation catheter
technologies’ is available to interested parties on request. To request
a copy please contact Dr Keith Turner at Cambridge Design Partnership on
+44 (0)1223 264428 or by e-mail at

– ENDS –

About Cambridge Design Partnership LLP

Cambridge Design Partnership is a creative technical consulting company
that develops ‘first of a kind’ products in the medical, consumer and
cleantech sectors. Based in Cambridge UK and Palo Alto USA we combine
leading engineering talent with business acumen and a deep understanding
of the human needs and technical opportunities that drive innovation.

Cambridge Design Partnership’s multi-disciplinary expertise and proven
process will benefit any multinational or ambitious company aiming to
maximise their return on investment in innovation.

Working as an integrated team, the company creates new products with a
dynamic, flexible approach that leads to outstanding results and
enduring client relationships. Our diverse team of engineers, scientists
and designers has grown rapidly to establish a world leading reputation
for technical and design excellence, astute project management and,
above all, thinking differently.



1 Fuster V, Rydn LE, Cannom DS, et al, 2006. ACC/AHA/ESC 2006
Guidelines for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation.
Circulation, 114:e257-e354

2 Miyasaka Y, Barnes ME, Gersh BJ, Cha SS, Bailey KR,
Abhayaratna WP, Seward JB, Tsang TSM, 2006. Secular Trends in Incidence
of Atrial Fibrillation in Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1980 to 2000, and
Implications on the Projections for Future Prevalence. Circulation,

3 Fuster V, Rydn LE, Cannom DS, et al, 2006. ACC/AHA/ESC 2006
Guidelines for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation.
Circulation, 114:e257-e354

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