“The future of AF ablation catheter technologies”: A new report reveals the potential of next generation technologies to treat atrial fibrillation


Design and technology consultancy Cambridge Design Partnership has announced that it has completed a research project to identify the future of medical technology to treat atrial fibrillation. The report is designed to explore the emerging technologies that will lead to innovation in this field, and provide an unparalleled resource for organisations looking to develop treatments.

Drawing on a cross-section of top industry and clinical figures including leading electrophysiologists, as well as its own extensive experience in designing medical products, Cambridge Design Partnership’s report describes the future of ablation catheter technology as a means of treatment. It deals comprehensively and expertly with a wide range of subjects, from fluidics, through thermal management and the monitoring of lesion formation.

Cambridge Design Partnership announced that it has been able to compile a comprehensive review of current solutions and identify future technologies that will form the fundamental drivers in this growing market.

Examples of enabling technologies that might feature in catheters in the longer term, and which are included in the report, are MEMS technologies, MRI-compliant components, force monitoring, advanced imaging techniques, real-time thermal modelling, and plastic electronics.

During the research process Cambridge Design Partnership spoke to leading electrophysiologists who described the drivers in their decision to adopt a particular technology and the forthcoming directions that could best meet their needs. The results found that the crucial goal was to create repeatable, contiguous, lasting lesions, and that device choice was substantially determined by the perception of the ability to achieve this.

Keith Turner, author of the study, partner, Cambridge Design Partnership, said: “This is a hugely important area in medical development. The market is competing to create more effective ablation catheters and so the ability to identify inspired engineering solutions and implement them rapidly into new products is essential. The part I find most fascinating is hearing the views of the electrophysiologists on each of the new technologies currently under development because it implies that certain projects need a change of direction if they are to provide a return on investment. The report should prove interesting reading for senior strategic marketing and R&D managers who are directing these programmes. As a result of this research we are now in a position to help accelerate the progress of these vitally important technologies and offer companies a true insight into the needs of the experts on the front line who are treating this condition.”