HONOLULU (March 20, 2018) -- Developments in medical technology and recent equipment advancements have changed the way health care is delivered to patients at Tripler Army Medical Center's cardiac catheterization lab.

Known as one of the most specialized areas of the hospital, the Tripler Cath Lab offers a full spectrum of invasive cardiology procedures from diagnostic, interventions, to emergency cardiac care.

Recently relocating to a different area of the hospital, the new site at Tripler is optimal in design to address the needs of patients, as it is equipped with cardiovascular technology that leads the industry in image quality.

Imaging equipment is known to be the core of a cath lab and essential to expand the view of the heart and blood vessels of a patient in cardiac distress.

"We treat what we see," said Maj. Shaun Martinho, chief of TAMC Cardiology Service. "The better the resolution, the more accurate our judgment on severity and placement of a coronary stent."

Using the most advanced cardiac imaging equipment, health care specialists at the Tripler Cath Lab perform the most complex interventional cardiology procedures with more precision and ease than ever before.

Within minutes, a cath lab team can respond to a cardiac emergency, perform a heart catheterization to locate a blocked artery, open it up, and restore blood flow to significantly improve a patient's clinical symptoms.

Until recently, higher X-ray dose settings were needed to obtain better image quality causing more radiation to patients and clinical staff members. The new technology now offers high-quality imaging with lower X-ray dose settings to better manage radiation exposure.

"We would actually have to stop the procedure due to overexposure and wait and bring them back; we don't have that issue anymore," explained Joseph Hill, TAMC cardiovascular technician. "The less radiation exposure to patients and staff also allows us to do more complex procedures," he said.

A unique feature called SyncVision adds clinical value as well as it allows providers to perform complex procedures more efficiently. Martinho gave details describing SyncVision as "a live-action computer enhanced visualization that provides instantaneous feedback and additional tools to guide coronary diagnosis and treatment."

While studying at the University of Minnesota, Martinho was first introduced to SyncVision and its capabilities experiencing first-hand a breakthrough in interventional cardiology practice.

With only approximately 20 medical centers in the country using the equipment at the time, Martinho said, "There are probably a lot more centers using this now, but we are the only on the island currently with SyncVision."

By leveraging technology and resources, TAMC provides state-of-the-art medicine through state-of-the-art technology and remains committed to being a leader among Army medical centers.