ECHI recognized for new patient-care technology

By Doug Boyd
ECU News Services

Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood, left, accepts a plaque from Brian Porras of Siemens Healthcare while, from left, Drs. Curtis Anderson, Alan Kypson and Ramesh Daggubati look on. Photo by Cliff Hollis
GREENVILLE, N.C.  (Jan. 15, 2014)  —  Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood Jr. and cardiovascular physicians and staff accepted a recognition Tuesday for being part of the first heart center in the Carolinas and Tennessee to install and use an advanced piece of imaging equipment.

Representatives from Siemens Healthcare presented a plaque to Chitwood recognizing the East Carolina Heart Institute's installation of the Artis zeego, a robotic imaging system made by Siemens that allows greater flexibility and image clarity for physicians treating patients with cardiovascular disease.

"This is going to be a great advance for our patients," said Chitwood, senior associate vice chancellor for health sciences at East Carolina University, professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the Brody School of Medicine and director of the ECHI at ECU and Vidant Medical Center.

The Artis zeego system is installed in the hybrid operating room at the ECHI at VMC. The sophisticated imaging system allows physicians to perform minimally invasive cardiac and vascular procedures with greater precision. Using a piece of equipment commonly referred to as a C-arm, physicians can take pictures all the way around a person's body. This 3-D view allows the entire care team to work with extreme accuracy when performing cardiac and vascular procedures, such as minimally invasive valve replacement.

"It's a versatile imaging system that opens up opportunities for new procedures," said Dr. Curtis Anderson, an associate professor of cardiovascular sciences at ECU and aortic surgery specialist. He called the zeego a "merging of robotic and imaging technology that creates a very versatile system."

Brian Porras, zone business manager with Siemens Healthcare who presented the plaque, said without physicians and medical centers willing to take on the challenge of installing and using new technology, a device such as the zeego "is useless."

Contact: Doug Boyd | 252-744-2482