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Flow Systems 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Basics

  • What are flow systems and how do they operate?

    Flow systems are 3D models of patient-specific anatomies or pathologies that produce a human clinical waveform and deliver a physiologically relevant flow throughout the system, creating a physical replica of the human endovascular system. The replicated hemodynamic flow and silicone vessels yield a high-fidelity haptic feedback that adds a valuable element to medical device development, training, and education. For almost a decade now, flow systems have been proven to boost the confidence of many physicians, clinical trainers, researchers, and more.

  • What is high-fidelity tactile feedback and how is it produced by flow systems?

    Flow systems yield a haptic response, or tactile feedback, when using a device within a flow system. By matching physiological flow levels and anatomies, these systems are engineered to provide the same feedback felt in real scenarios.

  • How do flow systems differentiate from our simulators?

    Mentice simulators are predominantly virtual and designed for structured, repeatable training. They provide reliable results and angiographic insight during simulation. Unlike simulators, flow systems are more tactile, and produce life-like device behaviors that are only felt during real procedures. This makes flow systems perfect for novel devices or challenging cases. Together, they can be used in to support a device from conception to market, and beyond toward continuing training and education.

 

Applications

  • How do flow systems complement traditional simulators?

    Mentice simulators can be utilized with flow systems in a variety of ways, but the main benefit is that challenges can be more easily tackled with both systems on hand. Whether in research or training, both systems serve as high-fidelity platforms that provide complementary insights. Mentice simulators provide angiographic insights just about anywhere, whereas flow systems provide the operator a way to feel exactly what is seen on the screen, without the need for a real patient. This empowers operators with the ability to research novel devices, dramatically improve trainings and demonstrations, and overcome real challenges that the medical device community often faces.

  • What are the various applications enabled by flow systems?

    Much like typical Mentice simulators, flow systems impact device development, physician training, and anything in between. Professionals are enabled by the key element of flow systems, the replicated tactile feedback produced with their devices; it allows operators to take on novel and challenging devices or cases. Clinical trainers and physicians alike can utilize the system to design, test and optimize devices and procedures within a risk-free and realistic platform. Interventionalists improve their competence and confidence by practicing a procedure with the identical anatomy and pathology they will ultimately treat clinically. Hospitals train reliably and cost-effectively within a risk-free platform. Others are enabled to demonstrate at any meeting, event, and even in front of a live audience.

    Flow systems also serve a wide variety of pathologies and physiological scenarios. All models are created according to patient-specific scans and other further custom requests. Flow systems serve a variety of vascular specialties, from standard vascular procedures, to neurovascular procedures, as well as some cardiac solutions. In many cases, it is possible to manipulate heart rate, blood pressure, and cardiac output of the system, as well as undergo replicated rapid pacing.

  • How do flow systems add value to the evolution of all endovascular treatment and training?

    As endovascular treatment evolves, so does simulation-based training, and especially with the emergence of flow systems. Flow systems are changing the standard of simulation; now that there is a way to gather life-like simulation and results in a risk-free environment, it is valuable as the community continues to roll out novel devices. Flow systems have a lot of value to offer when looking to improve patient outcomes:

    • Provides real-world experiences for physicians with no added risk
    • Accelerates the operator learning curve for devices and procedures
    • Improves surgical skills and competency
    • Boosts trainer confidence for trials
    • Reduces the reliance on animal testing
    • Encourages more novel device research and development
 

Systems and Accessories

  • What types of flow systems are offered?

    Flow systems vary from a human-like comprehensive design, to a more travel-friendly platform. All systems produce high-fidelity tactile feedback, but are also designed for varying business goals.

    There are travel-friendly options for the professional who is training or demonstrating on a device or procedure. There are also flowless, simplified plate models that provide a sleek and simple platform for demonstrative use. Lastly, the most comprehensive systems are used for any application, especially within research and training. 

  • How long do flow systems last and can they be transported?

    Flow systems are highly robust and designed to last indefinitely with the proper maintenance. Setting up is seamless and user-friendly, even when setting up for angiography. All systems are shipped in high quality cases to ensure safe travel. Some flow systems, such as the SiM Core and SiM Neuro, are designed specifically for the traveling professional and are most suitable for training and demonstrations. These systems maintain high-fidelity replication along with incredible versatility. There is also a travel-friendly powder form of the water-based fluid that serves to replicate blood.

  • How are silicone vessels made and what makes them so realistic?

    First, a designer will take patient-specific vessel diagrams (DICOMs) and reconstruct the images as needed for printing. Once initial printing is complete, silicone processing takes place to create the final silicone vessel. The vessels are also layered with a lubricious coating. This coating is part of what yields the life-like resistance and feedback that you get in a real procedure. When combined with flow and fluid, they produce the most clinically relevant tactile feedback. Learn more.

  • What is Replicator Fluid and how does it help replicate blood viscosity?

    Replicator Fluid is a water-based slick substance that is designed to enhance the tactile experience of simulated deployment by matching the viscosity of blood. It works with the coated silicone vessel to produce a hemodynamic flow matched to that of a real human. It is also available in powder form for travel purposes. Learn more.

  • What is Thrombus Simulant and when can it be used?

    Thrombus simulant is a nonbiological replication of real pathological thrombus. It is made for the replication of thrombectomy procedures and can be easily inserted into the system through a ready-to-go syringe. It has supported hundreds of professionals in thrombectomy research and training since 2011 and is included in a stroke solution system package.

    Learn more

 

Technical & Support

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