Helmsley Charitable Trust Grant Funds Mayo Clinic Robotic Technology Pilot Program

Pre-clinical studies will help determine if robotic-assisted PCI can be performed safely and effectively using an off-site remote-controlled system

Rochester, M.N. — A $3.3 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust will support the first step of a Mayo Clinic program to explore the performance of a remote-controlled, robotic-assisted heart procedure. The most effective type of therapy for many types of cardiac episodes is primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), but there is a global shortage of PCI-capable operators and facilities.  Remote PCI, or telestenting, may enable physicians to conduct procedures from virtually any location, opening opportunities for the geographic and workforce barriers that exist in rural and underserved populations across the globe. The study will utilize equipment developed by Corindus Vascular Robotics, Inc.

This initiative underpins a key strategic objective of the Mayo Clinic Cardiovascular Research Center focusing on advancing innovative therapeutics and novel diagnostics to treat and prevent cardiovascular disease.

“The need for remote interventions is becoming increasingly important as our knowledge in cardiovascular medicine increases,” states Amir Lerman, M.D., Director of the Mayo Clinic Cardiovascular Research Center.   

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America. During heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest, time is muscle. The more time that passes without therapy, the more heart muscle is permanently lost while the risk of morbidity and mortality grows. So, there is a compelling need to study the underlying causes of the many types of cardiovascular disease and to create new methods of prevention and treatment.

“No matter where you live, you should have access to high-quality, modern medical equipment,” said Walter Panzirer, a Helmsley Trustee. “At Helmsley, we are committed to supporting access to quality healthcare across rural areas of the Upper Midwest. One way we do this is by collaborating with organizations like the Mayo Clinic. We know this research is important to overcome that disparity and bring life-saving technology to rural Americans.”

The study is expected to be completed in 2020.

For more information click here, or contact Regina Palatini (rpalatini@helmsleytrust.org, 212.953.2879).

Cover photo credit: The South Dakota Department of Tourism.