Visiting Hansen Medical

Hansen Medical was founded as a spin-off of Intuitive Surgical in 2002. Fred Moll, who ran Intuitie at the beginning moved over to Hansen, but by now, he is into hair restoration. In February, I was given a private tour by VP Jean Chang, able to see first hand all their development and production in Mountain View.

First, they released the Sensei X Robotic Catheter System in 2005 for electrophysiology, and now they also have the Magellan Robotic System and the NorthStar Catheter 
"Hansen developed the Sensei master-slave robotic system to control catheters with a focus on use in cardiac electrophysiology procedures, such as ablation. Currently, these procedures require precise control of the catheter tip to deliver appropriate ablation to the cardiac conduction pathways while exposing cardiac electrophysiologists to high levels of fluoroscopic radiation needed for visualization. The Sensei system was designed to address both of these issues by providing physicians better control and decrease their radiation exposure.
The slave is a robotic arm positioned at the foot of the procedure table and controlled via pull wires through an external and internal sheath that can carry traditional ablation catheters. The external sheath has 1 pull wire that allows it to be deflected, rotated, and inserted/withdrawn. The internal sheath has more control with a pull wire in each quadrant providing it the capability to move 360° and also be inserted or withdrawn. Ablation catheters are positioned just past the internal sheath and the physician can control its motion via the master’s 3D joystick. The physician can view the procedure with traditional fluoroscopic image and can also integrate real-time electroanatomic mapping (EAM) and 3D
CT imaging with the robotic catheter positioning. A preoperative 3D CT image of the heart can be registered with EAM information. Similar to the da Vinci Surgical System, the controls can also be scaled with 1:1 or 4:1 ratios. Since the masters do not provide haptic feedback through the controls, the IntelliSense system detects forces at the catheter tip and uses synesthesia with a visual warning when the tip forces are concerning for risk of perforation."
Sales are slowly taking off, since the EU cleared the Magellan robotic system last summer. They also have conditional FDA IDE approval. The Magellan system was first used clinically last year.

 Hansen got its competition early. The CorPath 200 System (Corindus Vascular Robotics of Natick, Mass.) goes head to head (now under the umbrella of Phillips Medical). (Showing some good results.) And also, Medrobotics, Cathether robotics with Amigo, or the Vdrive system from Stereotaxis.
On the top of that, Stereotaxis develops magnetic-driven catheters, the Niobe system. 


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