The Evolution of Cardiac Mapping and Navigation Technology

New advancements in electroanatomical mapping technology have enabled electrophysiologists (EPs) to see rhythm abnormalities like never before. 


Boston Scientific launches INTELLANAV ST and INTELLANAV MIFI OI filling out a versatile suite of catheter tip technology combined with magnetic tracking for accuracy and efficiency. This offering is optimized for use with the only high-definition, ultra high-resolution cardiac mapping system, RHYTHMIA HDx, giving you the clarity you need to accurately map even the most complex arrhythmias.8

Rhythmia HDx is the innovative new platform built for scalability, optimized workflow and maximum efficiency and includes the same high-quality, rapid mapping and navigation as its predecessor.



FDA approves the IntellaNav™ XP, IntellaNav MiFi™ XP and INTELLANAV™ OI magnetic navigation-enabled ablation catheters for use with the RHYTHMIA Mapping System, enhancing the mapping and ablation potential of the system.1

2014 to 2016

The innovation of three software updates for the RHYTHMIA Mapping System provides continually enhanced, high-definition map imaging with consistency and speed.


The RHYTHMIA Mapping System becomes the first high-density, high-definition mapping system with regulatory clearance in Europe and the United States.

The RHYTHMIA Mapping System rapidly and automatically generates 3D maps of any chamber of the heart to help locate and treat the source of rhythm abnormality13,14 – allowing electrophysiologists to see the heart like never before.

Studies have shown:


2012 to present

More than 70 data publications support and reinforce the clinical utility of the RHYTHMIA Mapping System hardware, catheter and software to comprehensively and accurately map even the most complex arrhythmias.8


The technology shifts from a manual, time-intensive mapping process to an automated, novel approach, with the first publication9 describing a comprehensive electroanatomical mapping system where hardware and software were designed together. The RHYTHMIA™ Mapping System was developed from the ground up as a high-definition system incorporating a high-resolution 64-electode catheter, 3D ultra-high-density mapping capabilities and an algorithm that automates the signal capture and mapping processes.9

2004 to 2012

Pioneering engineers design a series of firsts in the field:

  • A variable deployment catheter, now known as INTELLAMAP ORION™ Mapping Catheter, that fits into different sized cardiac structures, making it easy to use in a variety of individual anatomies.
  • The smallest electrodes available for this purpose along with a technique to print electrodes onto INTELLAMAP ORION to reduce noise.
  • An algorithm that automates mapping.

The advent of combined mapping and navigation


The LocaLisa™ 3D and EnSite™ mapping systems are introduced, enabling catheter localization in real-time.10,11


The CARTO™ electroanatomical mapping system is introduced, offering the first picture of heart anatomy and electrical activity in 3D.12 

1980s to 1990s

Catheter ablation quickly starts to increase in usage over other arrhythmia treatment options.13,14 New 3D systems give more accurate real-time data than previous approaches. This is particularly valuable for patients who have complex arrhythmias or patients with complicated cardiac anatomy.15

Early technology



The first 2D images of the heart are produced when an ultrasound beam directed toward the heart is swept back and forth through an arc, reflecting signals on a oscillograph.16

Image courtesy of the Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences.


1950s to 1970

First use of catheter-based imaging devices provide physicians an inside look at heart anatomy.17 

1900s to 1950s

The first human electrocardiogram (ECG) is recorded on a string galvanometer,18 and biplane imaging of the heart is developed and refined to complement ECG findings to locate arrhythmias.19