MedTech Innovation Shines through Skilled Workers

Developments in health care move at lightning speed. Continual innovation makes medical equipment ever smarter, opening up a world of new opportunities. Making optimal use of new devices requires training. LifeTec Group provides customized training, using their own test set-ups for simulations of real-life situations. They are currently working through a trajectory with Philips, focusing on Live 3D ultrasound. 

For decades the medical world has made a great deal of use of 2D ultrasound, from scans of unborn children to echocardiography during surgery. The 2D technology is gradually being replaced by Live 3D. This technology offers many advantages over its predecessor, giving users the opportunity to gain a more complete image of an object. Performing a good Live 3D ultrasound, however, requires particular skills. In order to achieve high-quality ultrasounds, those who use the equipment should ideally be trained to master the skills involved. This would also enhance the benefits of Live 3D over 2D.

 

Cooperation

Good training is therefore needed. Philips provides training in Live 3D ultrasound imaging in cooperation with LifeTec Group. Professionals are invited to practice at LifeTec Group in a real-life environment.

‘We use our set-ups to train clinicians with this latest technology,’ Alberto Leopaldi, Business Developer at LifeTec Group, tells us. ‘Because new technology is all well and good, but human skills are still crucial to exploit its added value.’

LifeTec Group has three different set-ups in which people can practice, one of which is the beating heart platform PhysioHeart. ‘This platform offers the opportunity to train on a living organ, with almost the same conditions one would find in a patient.’ 

  • Echocardiography @ LifeTec Group lab
    Echocardiography @ LifeTec Group lab
    Echocardiography @ LifeTec Group lab
  • Perfusionists in training @ LifeTec Group lab
    Perfusionists in training @ LifeTec Group lab
    Perfusionists in training @ LifeTec Group lab

Interaction

In addition to sonographers, clinicians are also present during the training to demonstrate an intervention on the heart, such as implantation of a new heart valve. Course participants try to achieve an image of the intervention, so that the surgeon or cardiologist can use the participant’s image as guidance for his treatment. Leopaldi: ‘So it’s not just about the imaging, but also about the interaction and team dynamics between the sonographer and the clinician carrying out the operation.’

Close approximation is key

With its background in preclinical contract research and development and construction of research platforms, LifeTec Group is fully aware of the importance of closely copying reality.

‘If you’re doing research you want to come as close to reality as possible. If you’re training you often want exactly the same thing, preferably with an easy-to-use set-up,’ Leopaldi observes. ‘The LifeTec Group platforms used to test an artificial heart valve or coronary stent, for example, are also used to train heart surgeons and vascular surgeons from all over the world.’

Ambitions

It is one of LifeTec Group’s ambitions to provide more of these in-house training courses in the future.

‘We have the knowledge and the facilities necessary to offer thorough training. We are also convinced that this will lead to better results in the end, saving time and money. By training all employees when acquiring a new medical device, you can get the best out of the new applications. That is good for the manufacturer, the care provider and, last but certainly not least, the patient.’ 

Head of MedTech Innovation

Marco Stijnen

Senior Research Engineer

Sjoerd van Tuijl

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