St. Jude Medical, Inc announced the first use outside the United States of its ultrasound imaging system which enables physicians to view real-time images from inside the heart as they diagnose and treat conditions resulting from structural problems or abnormal rhythms. By providing accurate, clear images of the heart's interior anatomy and the position of devices, the system enables physicians to perform procedures with much increased control. The ViewMate II Ultrasound System with the ViewFlex PLUS Intracardiac Echocardiography (ICE) Catheter is one of many St. Jude Medical products featured at the Boston Atrial Fibrillation Symposium. The ViewMate system uses ultrasound technology to produce high-resolution intracardiac images. The system transmits high-frequency sound waves through a transducer on the tip of the catheter then the transducer converts electric energy into sound energy and these sound energy which are sound waves then reflect off structures inside the heart and the transducer converts them back into electric energy so as to produce the anatomical images. The intracardiac images from ViewMate II System help guide physicians in performing procedures like radiofrequency (RF) ablation to treat irregular heart rhythms, atrial fibrillation (AF), a small hole or opening in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart (the atria) and in closing defects such as patent foramen ovale (PFO). Clear views inside the heart help reduce the time to perform procedures thus enabling patients to recover quickly and enhancing hospital productivity. The ViewMate II System with the ViewFlex PLUS Catheter recently received European CE Mark approval. The system also received US FDA clearance in January 2008 and has been used in the US since then. St. Jude Medical began marketing and distributing the ViewMate II System with ViewFlex PLUS Catheter following its merger with EP MedSystems, Inc. Atul Verma, M.D., and Yaariv Khaykin, M.D., from Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, performed the first procedures using the ViewMate System outside the United States. "The ViewMate System provides images of improved contrast. Sharper, clearer images are critical to accurate diagnoses and precise treatments," said Dr. Khaykin. Dr. Verma added, "The ViewMate System enables me to obtain images with greater depth, which in turn allows for more informed diagnoses and treatment decisions." "The first use of the ViewMate II System outside the US marks a significant milestone as we introduce products that help physicians around the world treat atrial arrhythmias, including AF, a heart condition that affects millions of people and will grow in prevalence as populations age," said Jane J. Song, president of the St. Jude Medical Atrial Fibrillation Division. "St. Jude Medical is committed to providing wide distribution of this and other technologies that increase physician control during the treatment of AF and other interventional cardiac procedures." The ViewMate II ultrasound console is a complete digital cardiovascular imaging system that provides transesophageal, transthoracic and intracardiac imaging capabilities. The console features on-screen menus and displays designed for intuitive operation by clinicians. Its keyboard and monitor are easily adjusted for comfortable viewing. Apart from all these the console can store ultrasound digital images and files thus enabling physicians to gain quick access.