Royal Philips Electronics and Hansen Medical are to co-develop new medical systems to simplify the complex cardiac procedures used to treat arrhythmia.

Royal Philips Electronics and Hansen Medical will co-develop new medical systems that simplify complex cardiac procedures used to diagnose and treat irregular heartbeats known as arrhythmias.

Cardiac arrhythmias can reduce the quality of life and lead to serious health risks, including heart failure and stroke.

Nearly 550,000 new patients are diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmias in the US each year and arrhythmias cause approximately 250,000 deaths annually.

The condition also affects more than 4.5m people in Europe.

To develop the new systems for arrhythmia treatment, the two companies plan to combine Philips' Allura Xper X-Ray system with Hansen Medical's Sensei robotic catheter system.

The Sensei system allows physicians to easily and accurately place mapping catheters in hard-to-reach anatomical locations in the heart, while the Allura Xper X-Ray system provides the visualisation of the cardiac anatomy during the cardiac arrhythmia procedure.