Royal Philips has announced the installation of Azurion, the first of its kind future-proof image guided care platform in Africa, at the Mediclinic Panorama acute care hospital in Cape Town.

The Philips Azurion image-guided therapy platform for interventional labs features a state-of-the-art ergonomic design with an intuitive user interface, enabling clinicians to perform a wide range of routine and complex procedures in the interventional lab.

Driven by their benefits for patients and care providers, minimally-invasive therapies, such as the catheter-based treatment of certain tumours, aneurysms, obstructed blood vessels, heart rhythm disorders and defective heart valves, continue to grow fast. In addition to reduced patient trauma and shorter recovery times, such procedures also have the benefit of allowing the treatment of patients who would not be able to withstand the trauma of open surgery.

However, during such procedures, clinicians cannot directly see and feel the organs they are working on. Effective imaging, measurement and navigation technologies are therefore key to guiding minimally-invasive procedures. At the heart of the interventional lab, these technologies allow identification and visualisation of target organs and tissues, the operation of interventional devices, and the placement of implants, leading to improved chances of therapy success.

“The imaging environment is critical to perform minimally-invasive procedures efficiently and effectively. An interventionist wants to be in the cockpit, similar to a pilot in an airplane, where they have control of everything they need and have all the relevant functions at their fingertips. As a leader in image-guided therapy, we have been driving continuous innovation to address rising patient volumes and increased procedure complexity,” said General Manager for Health Systems at Philips South Africa, Jose Fernandes.

“Hundreds of Philips developers, engineers and designers and dozens of our clinical partners across the world have collaborated to completely redesign the heart of our portfolio. With the launch of our new Azurion platform, we can deliver new turnkey solutions that support our customers in maintaining high standards of quality and patient care at predictable costs,” continued Fernandes.

According to Philips, Azurion is equipped with new workflow options and performance dashboards, as well as an upcoming range of productivity improvement services. The platform also features over 1,000 new components, including an enhanced flat-panel detector, and Philips’ newly developed ConnectOS operating system for the integration of real-time information from all relevant technologies in the interventional lab. All of these components work together to deliver high image quality at ultra-low X-ray dose and real-time image processing on multiple work spots within the interventional lab.

Parallel working enables the team of clinicians to complete different tasks simultaneously in the interventional lab, saving valuable time without compromising quality of care. Azurion features procedure cards that allow clinicians to pre-program routine tasks and user preferences, helping to minimise preparation errors and further reducing preparation and procedure time.

Philips’ planning and navigation software for areas such as vascular surgery (VesselNavigator), interventional cardiology (EchoNavigator), interventional oncology (EmboGuide), and interventional neuroradiology (AneurysmFlow) also integrate into the Azurion platform to support the clinical workflow.

“We are on an exciting journey to strengthen Mediclinic Panorama’s position as a centre of excellence for cardiac care; we are the first hospital in Africa with this state-of-the-art technology,” said Hospital General Manager at Mediclinic Panorama, Riaan Vorster.

“The Azurion platform provides us with advanced technologies and an excellent user experience, combined with services for guaranteed uptime, seamless integration into our hospital workflows, staff training and education, and enhancement of our productivity. This enables our staff to fully focus on what they do best – providing superior care to our patients,” concluded Vorster.

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