Philips Launches Radiation-Free LumiGuide Navigation System

Philips made interventional imaging headlines last week, announcing the US and European launch of its LumiGuide interventional imaging system, positioning it as a key step toward “bringing healthcare closer to entirely radiation-free surgery.” 

Powered by Philips’ Fiber Optic RealShape (FORS) technology and exclusively compatible with Philips interventional systems, LumiGuide uses light reflected along an optical fiber inside a guidewire to generate 3D, high-resolution, color images of interventional devices (e.g. catheters) — in real time, from any angle, in multiple views, and without radiation. 

  • Philips was sure to contrast these capabilities versus X-ray guidance, particularly noting X-ray’s radiation risks, and ability to only produce 2D black and white images.

The LumiGuide is actually Philips’ second generation FORS-based imaging system, building upon a first gen FORS system that launched for (very) limited clinical use in 2018. Last week’s LumiGuide launch represents a step towards more widespread use, starting with major US and European Aortic Centers of Excellence for complex aortic repairs.

  • Philips would then use the data it collects from this initial US and EU Aortic Center rollout to support a wider global launch.
  • That could include adding to its list of compatible interventional systems and potentially expanding beyond aortic procedures to other interventions.

Bringing new technology into the cath lab is never easy, but the LumiGuide will enjoy the support of Philips’ massive presence in interventional cardiology, and the help of what appears to be solid benefits.

  • As part of a limited late-2023 release at nine aortic centers (N=900), the LumiGuide system cut complex aortic procedure time and radiation exposure by 37% and 56% compared to X-ray.

It also launches amid recent momentum towards zero and low-fluoroscopy procedures, including major ultrasound-guided efforts from J&J’s Biosense Webster and Shifamed-backed startup Laza Medical

The Takeaway

Bringing healthcare closer to “entirely radiation-free surgery” is a massive goal, and might even puzzle some Philips-watchers given that it’s the clear leader of X-ray based interventional cardiovascular imaging. 

However, as Steve Jobs once said, “if you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will,” and it seems a lot smarter for Philips to focus on building around its cardiac fluoro leadership than just focusing on protecting it.

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