St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ) today announced the official opening of the St. Jude Medical Advanced Learning Center, in Brussels, Belgium, offering education and training in advanced, evidence-based therapies for physicians who treat heart disease.
The center’s curricula include cardiac rhythm management (CRM), electrophysiology treatments of heart rhythm conditions, heart valve replacement and repair, vascular closure after interventional procedures and the repair of openings in the septum, the wall that separates the heart’s left and right sides. Presented in small groups and including simulations, the training programs are designed to increase physician familiarity and experience with various technologies and procedures.
“The opening of St. Jude Medical’s first Advanced Learning Center demonstrates our commitment to physicians as they seek to improve patient outcomes and lower risks,” said Denis Gestin, president of the St. Jude Medical International Division. “The training and hands-on experiences at the center will help develop physician knowledge and skills on the safe, effective use of St. Jude Medical products to enhance patient care.”
The center’s curriculum in interventional electrophysiology (EP) has received Continuing Medical Education (CME) accreditation from the European Board for Accreditation in Cardiology (EBAC). It is designed to train physicians in ablation therapy for the treatment of heart rhythm conditions. Prof. G. Hindricks, M.D., of Herzcentrum Leipzig in Leipzig, Germany and P. Della Bella, M.D., of Centro Cardiologico Monzino in Milan, Italy, are the center’s course directors for the Interventional EP Curriculum.
In addition to learning in instructional sessions, course participants gain first-hand experience in the use of St. Jude Medical advanced medical technology through innovative training tools. The center is equipped with virtual reality simulators that enable physicians to practice implanting leads in the left and right sides of the heart, ablating targeted heart tissues using EP procedures to treat abnormal heart rhythms and performing transseptal procedures. A wet lab allows physicians to increase effectiveness in valve replacement and repair, and a cardiac rhythm simulator lets physicians hone their skills in programming pacemakers, ICDs and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices.
“For physicians who treat heart disease, the arrival of new advanced technologies continuously challenges us to learn about them, gain hands-on experience and achieve control in their use,” said Peter T. Mortensen, M.D., of Skejby University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark. “The St. Jude Medical Advanced Learning Center provides physicians with a new option for gaining valuable experience that, when used according to best practices, leads to improved patient outcomes in the clinic.”