Endovascular interventions are an integral part of the medical routine with 6 million procedures done worldwide annually. During the procedure, doctors insert a thin, flexible wire to navigate the catheter into the blood vessels to apply stents or remove blood clots. In order to navigate the catheter precisely through the vessels, patients undergo X-rays during the procedure. One downside is that “patients and doctors are exposed to a considerable amount of radiation,” says Dr. Torben Pätz, mathematician at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine MEVIS in Bremen. “In addition, the Xrays merely show a 2D projection instead of a 3D image, which can sometimes impede precise localization of the catheter.” Fraunhofer MEVIS is developing a system called
IntelliCath (Intelligent Catheter Navigation) to remedy these problems.