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STEREOTAXIS, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 03/15/2019
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We believe more than 3,000 interventional labs around the world are currently capable of conducting electrophysiology procedures. Nearly one million electrophysiology procedures are performed annually worldwide, and the procedure growth rate is approximately 10% annually.


We believe that our robotic system is particularly well-suited for those electrophysiology procedures which are time consuming or which can only be performed by highly experienced physicians. These procedures include:


  Ventricular Tachycardia. Ventricular tachycardia is a malignant, potentially lethal arrhythmia that is extremely difficult and time consuming to treat. The magnetic catheter has been characterized as the ideal tool for this application. These arrhythmias can often be modified or interrupted by the pressure of a conventional catheter making it very difficult to identify the appropriate location for the ablation, whereas magnetic catheters produce fewer extra beats and provide for easier and more efficient mapping of the diseased tissue. Successful ablation of ventricular tachycardia can extend the useful life of an implantable defibrillator, reduce shocks to the patient, reduce the need for antiarrhythmic drugs or, in some cases, obviate the need for an expensive implantable device and its associated follow-up.  
  Atrial Fibrillation. The most commonly diagnosed abnormal heart rhythm, atrial fibrillation, is a particular type of arrhythmia characterized by rapid, disorganized contractions of the heart’s upper chambers, the atria, which lead to ineffective heart pumping and blood flow and can be a major risk factor for stroke. This chaotic electrical activity of the top chambers of the heart is estimated to be present in three million people in the United States and over seven million people worldwide. The number of potential patients for manual catheter-based procedures for atrial fibrillation has been limited because the procedures are extremely complex and are performed by only the most highly skilled electrophysiologists. They also typically have much longer procedure times than general ablation cases and the success rates have been lower and more variable. We believe that our system can allow these procedures to be performed by a broader range of electrophysiologists and, by automating some of the more complex catheter maneuvers, can standardize and reduce procedure times and significantly improve outcomes.
  General Mapping and Ablations. For the more routine mapping and ablation procedures, our system offers the unique benefit of precise catheter movement and consistent heart wall contact. Additionally, the system can control the procedure and direct catheter movement from the control room, saving the physician time and helping to avoid unnecessary exposure to high doses of radiation.  


We believe that our system can address the current challenges in electrophysiology by permitting the physician to remotely navigate disposable interventional devices from a control room outside the x-ray field. Additionally, we believe that our system allows for more predictable and efficient navigation of these devices to the treatment site, and enables catheter contact to be consistently maintained to efficiently apply energy on the wall of the beating heart. We also believe that our system will significantly lower the skill barriers required for physicians to perform complex electrophysiology procedures and, additionally, improve interventional lab efficiency and reduce disposable interventional device utilization.


Interventional Cardiology


More than half a million people die annually from coronary artery disease, a condition in which the formation of plaque in the coronary arteries obstructs the supply of blood to the heart, making this the leading cause of death in the U.S. Despite various attempts to reduce risk factors, each year over one million patients undergo interventional procedures in an attempt to open blocked vessels and another one half million patients undergo open heart surgery to bypass blocked coronary arteries.


Blockages within a coronary artery, often called lesions, are categorized by degree of obstruction as partial occlusions, non-chronic total occlusions and chronic total occlusions. Lesions are also categorized by the degree of difficulty with which they can be opened as simple or complex. Complex lesions, such as chronic total occlusions, longer lesions, and lesions located within smaller diameter vessels, are often very difficult or time consuming to open with manual interventional techniques.


We believe approximately 11,000 interventional labs worldwide are currently capable of conducting interventional cardiology. Over 4 million interventional cardiology procedures are performed annually in the U.S. alone. We estimate that approximately 10-15% of these interventional cardiology procedures currently being performed are complex and therefore require longer procedure times and may have sub-optimal outcomes. We believe that our system can substantially benefit this subset of complex interventional cardiology procedures.


Interventional Neuroradiology, Neurosurgery and Other Interventional Applications


Physicians used a predecessor to our Niobe system to conduct a number of procedures for the treatment of brain aneurysms, a condition in which a portion of a blood vessel wall balloons and which can result in debilitating or fatal bleeding and strokes. We believe the robotic magnetic system also has a range of potential applications in minimally invasive neurosurgery, including biopsies and the treatment of tumors, treatment of vascular malformations and fetal interventions.


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