St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ), a global medical device company and ZONARE Medical Systems, a leading provider of premium ultrasound systems, today announced they have entered into a development and marketing agreement. Under this agreement, the companies will combine the St. Jude Medical intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) catheter and the ZONARE z.one Convertible Ultrasound system technology, and co-market an ultrasound system for intracardiac (inside the heart) imaging. The co-branded Ultrasound console will provide a new platform for the St. Jude Medical ViewFlex ICE catheter to perform intracardiac imaging.
“St. Jude Medical is pleased to partner with ZONARE Medical Systems and to combine its innovative technology and promising future developments in ultrasound imaging with our electrophysiology catheters”
ZONARE's z.one Convertible Ultrasound system was introduced in 2005 and uses Zone Sonography™ technology, a unique patented approach to ultrasound imaging. To date, the company has sold over 4,000 z.one systems worldwide.
"St. Jude Medical is pleased to partner with ZONARE Medical Systems and to combine its innovative technology and promising future developments in ultrasound imaging with our electrophysiology catheters," said Jane J. Song, president of the St. Jude Medical Atrial Fibrillation Division. "We are also pleased to be partnering with a company that is focused on developing ultrasound technology and integrating it with our catheters."
Ultrasound technology allows physicians to produce high-resolution intracardiac images. These images help guide physicians in performing a variety of procedures such as radiofrequency (RF) ablation to treat irregular heart rhythms and in closing defects such as patent foramen ovale (PFO), a small hole or opening in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart (the atria). Clear views inside the heart also help reduce the time that it takes physicians to perform such procedures, providing patients an opportunity to recover more quickly and potentially enhancing hospital productivity.
Ultrasound imaging systems work by transmitting high-frequency sound waves through a transducer on the tip of a catheter. The sound waves reflect off structures inside the heart and the transducer collects and converts them back into electric energy to produce anatomical images. This ultrasound imaging process can also help to eliminate unnecessary fluoroscopy (X-ray) exposure to the patient and physician.
"We are pleased to partner with St. Jude Medical to develop better tools for increased clinician confidence when performing complex electrophysiology procedures," said Jay D. Miller, president and chief executive officer of ZONARE. "This continues to validate ZONARE's exclusive focus on innovative software-based ultrasound and transducer technologies designed to deliver premium image quality in a compact and light-weight ultrasound system."
St. Jude Medical, Inc. and ZONARE Medical Systems