CentraCare, one of the largest health systems in Minnesota, has successfully completed the first structural heart procedure in the world using 4D hologram technology, which was developed by EchoPixel. Jacob Dutcher, MD, an interventional cardiologist, and director of the structural heart program at CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center, conducted the WATCHMAN implant, which is a one-time, minimally invasive procedure for people with atrial fibrillation who need an alternative to blood thinners to protect them from a stroke. Approximately six million people in the U.S. suffer from atrial fibrillation and many of them are intolerant to blood thinners.
This new approach to the WATCHMAN procedure combines both EchoPixel’s pre-planning True3D software with its intra-operative Holographic Therapy Guidance (HTG) software platform. By leveraging mixed reality capabilities, EchoPixel brings precision to structural heart procedures by utilizing HTG, a transformative 4D technology that enables the entire heart team to interact with a patient’s specific organs and tissues as if they were actual, physical objects. These technologies reduce procedure time, improve accuracy of the procedure, reduce risk of complication and hasten recovery.
CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center is the first in the world to use EchoPixel’s technology both before and during a structural heart procedure. “EchoPixel pre-planning True3D software helped us reduce our procedure times by more than 27% and increase optimal procedure outcome by 20%. EchoPixel-HTG is taking us to the next level,” says Dr. Dutcher. “As one of the world’s largest WATCHMAN implanting sites, we are always looking for new ways to advance and improve patient care, and are proud to be the first center in the world to offer this novel imaging technology.”
“Dr. Dutcher has been very influential in the development and evolution of our HTG technology,” says Sergio Aguirre, CEO of EchoPixel. “Having him on board has helped us hone our device and approach as we draw on his vast experience with this procedure. We are looking forward to continuing to work with him and CentraCare to adapt our software to other structural heart procedures, providing an even greater benefit to patients.”