GE Healthcare is expanding its alliance with Biosense Webster Inc, Diamond Bar, Calif, to develop real-time ultrasound imaging for use in electrophysiology procedures.

Electrophysiology involves treating abnormal heart rhythms, which are responsible for 20% of heart disease deaths, according to the American Heart Association. Ablation, in which an electrophysiologist eliminates the tissues of the heart contributing to a disturbance, has a success rate of some 84 to 87%—but because of the procedure’s complexity and duration it is performed infrequently.

GE will merge its resources in high-performance ultrasound imaging with EP catheter technologies from Biosense Webster to create imaging solutions for intracardiac therapies with new real-time visualization of the cardiac anatomy and therapy catheters.