EECP® is more than just a trademark. It stands for Enhanced External Counterpulsation, a term coined in the 1990’s by Dr. John Hui, a founder of Vasomedical, and his collaborators to describe an improved, proprietary technology for better ECP therapy.
External counterpulsation (ECP) is a generic term for a circulatory assist technique first introduced by Drs. Harken, Birtwell and Soroff in the 1960's using a hydraulic (water) driven system with a single bladder encasing the lower extremities to produce diastolic augmentation and systolic unloading. With this hydraulic form of ECP system, a handful of clinical researchers conducted clinical studies in the areas of stable angina, acute myocardial infarction and cardiogenic shock. Some of these studies were positive and some were equivocal due to the limitations of the technology available at the time. While pneumatic ECP systems started to appear in the 1970’s and 1980’s, their performance was still not satisfactory.
The Lumenair™ EECP® Therapy System
Using the direct teachings from the inventors of external counterpulsation, together with a unique knowledge of hemodynamics and pathophysiology drawn from their experience and scientific evidence, Dr. John Hui, the last Fellow of Dr. Clifford Birtwell, and his team at Vasomedical redesigned the external counterpulsation system with sequential application of external pressure to three sets of pneumatic cuffs wrapped around the calves, lower thighs and upper thighs/buttocks to increase treatment efficiency. With the state-of-the-art electronics, patented valve design and proprietary software, the new system significantly improved the delivery and outcomes of the therapy with optimal timing and profile of cuff pressurization.
To differentiate this new system from the other ECP systems, Dr. Hui and his colleagues at Vasomedical called this technology Enhanced External Counterpulsation or EECP®. Over the years, the technology has been continuously improved to take advantage of the latest scientific and clinical developments as well as technological advancements.
Coronary Perfusion Before EECP® Therapy
Coronary Perfusion After EECP® Therapy
The first paper describing the modern era of enhanced external counterpulsation was published in 1992 by Drs. Lawson, Soroff, Zheng and Hui using the term EECP® for the first time to describe the enhanced features of external counterpulsation exclusively manufactured and trademarked by Vasomedical. Since then, over 190 articles, with the majority published in peer-reviewed, major medical journals and approximately 200 presentations in major scientific conferences, reporting results of clinical studies using Vasomedical EECP® systems exclusively. On the other hand, only two retrospective studies using non-EECP® systems were published to date, since the first historical studies using hydraulic systems.
Therefore, while all ECP systems are identified by the USA Code of Federal Regulation, CFR 21, Part 807.5225 asnoninvasive device used to assist the heart by applying positive or negative pressure to one or more of the body’s limbs in synchrony with the heart cycle, EECP® therapy by Vasomedical embodies the proprietary knowhow and state-of-the-art technology that ensures the best treatment outcomes, as documented in numerous publications. Not all ECP devices are the same. Only Vasomedical EECP® Therapy has been proven.*
Any use of the term EECP® by other external counterpulsation companies or claim by companies that their ECP technology is the “same” as EECP® Therapy without published scientific evidence or without providing proof of that claim, not only violates the legal proprietary rights of Vasomedical but violates a precedent set by a US District Court decision, when it stated in its decision that a competitive external counterpulsation company may not make comparisons of equality between the technologies without providing documented evidence. Such claim is also unethical by misleading physicians and patients.
*Only Vasomedical EECP® Therapy has been demonstrated in multiple prospective, randomized clinical studies, published in peer reviewed medical journals to provide initial benefit, long term results and proven scientific evidence of its mechanisms of action.
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