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Guidant opens Brussels based training facility for physicians

Guidant Corporation (NYSE and PCX: GDT), a world leader in the treatment of cardiac and vascular disease, today announced that the Guidant Europe Cardiac and Vascular Institute, based in Brussels, has opened its virtual reality training facility for physicians.

The unique training system was exclusively developed for Guidant by Mentice, a pioneer and leader in clinical education systems utilizing the latest virtual reality simulation technologies.

Guidant’s new virtual reality system is a simulator for catheter-based procedures such as stent placement, balloon angioplasty and coronary sinus lead placement required for cardiac resynchronization therapy. The newly opened facility offers eight simultaneous sessions allowing physicians to practice cases and share their experiences in a natural learning environment.

"This system provides a remarkably realistic tactile and visual simulation of interventional procedures allowing physicians to practice new therapeutic techniques in a virtual environment," said Guido Neels, president, Guidant Europe. "Our investment in this important training tool demonstrates Guidant's commitment to clinical excellence and education."

Training sessions at the Guidant Europe Cardiac and Vascular Institute are designed and moderated by experts with extensive practical clinical experience and proven teaching competency. These experts also make sure that the latest advances are incorporated into the institute's programs.

"Innovation and learning go hand in hand at the Cardiac and Vascular Institute," said Professor Jean Marco, Clinique Pasteur, Toulouse, France. "With the virtual reality system the stenting procedure looks and feels remarkably similar to a real case - but without putting actual patients at risk or using animals for training. Interventional techniques can be practiced again and again at increasing levels of difficulty in a virtual cath-lab environment."

Martin Schalij, M.D., Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands, an experienced implanter of cardiac resynchronization devices for patients with heart failure noted, "This virtual reality system allows physicians to get past the learning curve with the over-the-wire lead system much faster and without the discomforts that come with a cath-lab environment, such as exposure to radiation and time constraints. In a matter of hours on the simulator, practical experience is cumulated that otherwise would take numerous procedures."

Guidant Corporation pioneers lifesaving technology, giving an opportunity for better life today to 8 million cardiac and vascular patients worldwide. The company, driven by a strong entrepreneurial culture of more than 10,000 employees, develops, manufactures and markets a broad array of products and services that enable less invasive care for some of life's most threatening medical conditions.

Reported by
19 March 2002

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