WATERLOO, Belgium, January 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Biosense Webster, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, and a worldwide leader in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, announced the successful completion of the first clinical cases with the new THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Contact Force Sensing Catheter in the European Union, following recent CE-marking of the product.

The THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Catheter is the most advanced catheter developed by Biosense Webster to date. During cardiac ablation, the THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Catheter enables the measurement of catheter tip contact force and direction inside the heart. The force and contact information is graphically displayed on the CARTO(R) 3 Mapping and Navigation System with the CARTO(R) 3 SMARTTOUCH(TM) Software Module thus creating the only fully integrated solution in the electrophysiology market which combines contact force, 3D mapping and navigation capabilities.

Dr. Paolo Della Bella*, from the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy, performed the first human cases with the THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Catheter and CARTO(R) 3 System and says: "This is a breakthrough technology. The additional force reading parameter gives me the confidence that it improves my ablation procedure to better serve my patients' symptoms and quality of life."

The THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Catheter combines Biosense Webster's market-leading irrigated ablation technology and the accurate visualization, for which the CARTO(R) 3 System is renowned globally, with innovative force-sensing capabilities. By displaying precise contact force and direction information, the THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Catheter provides an important new parameter for the mapping and ablation of complex cardiac arrhythmias, such as Atrial Fibrillation (AF).

"THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Catheter brings important new force reading information to physicians when performing cardiac ablation, and will provide them with a new and important measure that can help further improve procedural outcomes. This breakthrough technology continues our commitment to bringing advanced tools to the Cardiac Electrophysiology community, so that they may better serve their patients," said Shlomi Nachman, Worldwide President, Biosense Webster, Inc.