Laza Medical Emerges with Vision for Ultrasound-Guided Cath Lab Procedures

Cath lab procedures have always been synonymous with X-ray fluoroscopy guidance, but this week’s emergence of interventional imaging startup Laza Medical highlights a growing focus on ultrasound guidance.

Laza Medical launches with the help of $36M in Series A financing, and plans to develop a robotically-controlled and AI-powered cath lab ultrasound system. 

  • The Laza Medical solution would combine advanced navigation tools and a robotically controlled ultrasound system to allow “a broad population of clinicians” (likely beyond sonographers) to guide EP and structural heart procedures, while also optimizing ultrasound workflows and image quality.
  • Based on some online reports, the system might also allow cath lab teams to use ultrasound guidance instead of fluoroscopy.

That might sound far-fetched for a company that lists two employees on Linkedin, but Laza Medical launches with some solid relationships – GE HealthCare was among its Series A investors and Laza came out of the Shifamed innovation hub (also home of Supira Medical, Akura Medical, Tioga Cardiovascular, Adona Medical, and a list of now-exited CV companies).

The company also brought on medtech robotics veteran Pablo Garcia as its new GM, who previously co-founded Verb Surgical, which became the foundation of J&J’s forthcoming Ottava robotics surgery platform.

Laza Medical isn’t alone in the ultrasound guidance trend. In August, J&J’s Biosense Webster announced that six of its AFib ablation products (e.g. catheters, guiding sheaths) received FDA approval for use in zero-fluoroscopy workflows that instead rely on ultrasound guidance. 

The Takeaway

Laza Medical has a long way to go before its vision for AI and robotic-guided interventional ultrasound becomes a reality, but the combined interest of cardiology heavyweights like GE, J&J, and Shifamed highlights the significant potential to expand and improve how ultrasound technology is used in cath labs.

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