September 2013 is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness month and heart device company AtriCure, Inc. has taken the opportunity to announce a significant multi-year strategic investment in clinical trial and educational initiatives aimed at reducing the global Atrial Fibrillation (Afib) epidemic.
Remember when device companies made devices and left the care to the professionals? For savvy companies, keen to make their mark in their chosen specialty, they need to be a bit more “vertically integrated” into the care continuum these days. AtriCure is a good example as it reminds us of its significant investments in clinical science and physician education initiatives which will translate into patient awareness of Afib.
First up, an update on the study tagged ABLATE PAS which has passed the halfway mark in patient enrollment and will follow them for 3 years post-procedure. AtriCure’s Synergy Ablation System is currently the only FDA-approved surgical device for the treatment of Afib and the company says this is the largest and most rigorous multi-centered surgical ablation study ever attempted. It will build upon the success demonstrated in AtriCure’s landmark FDA trial and further support the durability of the Synergy Ablation System for the treatment of persistent and long-standing persistent Afib.
Additionally, in an effort to ensure standardization of the so-called Maze IV (open chest surgical ablation) procedure to achieve the highest possible quality outcomes, AtriCure has provided in-depth surgeon education to over 1,000 surgeons.
At the patient level, AtriCure has developed a new campaign focused on Afib risk awareness and treatment options entitled, “ACT Against Afib”. “ACT” is an acronym for the three steps involved in patient awareness and understanding treatment options: Assess your risk, Consult with your doctor, and Treat your Afib. The campaign will include advertising, press releases to the public, a website for patients and physicians, media kits for hospitals and advocacy groups to partner on the campaign and special events throughout the year.
“This year, we reassert our aggressive efforts to collaborate with leading electrophysiologists, cardiologists, and surgeons to find long-lasting, evidenced-based solutions that are proven through rigorous clinical trials,” said Michael Carrel, president and CEO of AtriCure. “One in four Americans aged 40 or older will be diagnosed with Afib in their lifetime. Without an urgent focus on raising awareness and delivering effective and durable Afib solutions, the physical and emotional impact on families, and the financial impact on society, will be enormous. Our goal is to favorably impact the lives of 250,000 patients and their family members by the end of the decade through greater awareness and treatment.”
“As a leader in the clinical research and treatment of Afib, we’re all-too-familiar with its devastating effects, and the near epidemic levels of people suffering from Afib. Our goal is to partner with physicians to provide superior treatment options as well as to create greater public awareness about this progressive disease and the options available,” according to Sydney Gaynor, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon and medical director at AtriCure. Further, “The ACT Against Afib campaign is an excellent way to spread the word about the risks and treatment options, and we encourage physicians to become involved through the ACT campaign.”
Source: AtriCure, Inc., Business Wire