St. Jude medical announces European approval of next generation Athena programmer for the management of deep brain stimulation therapy


St. Jude medical announced European CE mark approval of its new Athena programmer, a deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy management system. This next generation platform offers clinicians a powerful yet easy to use interface that enables them to set or adjust therapeutic parameters to optimise patient results. Additionally, the system has the most comprehensive data management capacity on the market, which will aid clinicians in the organisation and storage of patient information.

The Athena programmer is a notebook based PC that can be utilised through an interactive touch screen or keyboard according to the clinician’s preference. The system features include:

  • Larges full-colour touch screen measuring 22.6 cm, which allows users to see all leads and programming information at one time
  • Patient database feature that can hold up to 200,000 patient records, providing a full history of programming sessions for every patient
  • Data export capability that permits the user to export data for analysis, printing and emailing
  • Clinician notes section that provides a convenient means to add information about each programming session and that can easily be accessed in subsequent sessions

“Because deep brain stimulation programming is often a complex and time consuming process, we are pleased to provide physicians with this state of the art programmer,” said Chris Chavez. “The Athena programmer addresses several unmet needs and presents physicians with a unique, new option in programming and the management of deep brain stimulation devices to advance this therapy.” 


The latest addition to the St. Jude medical portfolio of DBS products, the Athena programmer can be used to program the Libra, LibraXP, and Brio DBS systems. These deep brain stimulation systems are approved for use in European Union countries and Australia. The Athena programmer is currently approved in European Union countries and is in the submission process for additional markets.


Deep brain stimulation is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder that progressively diminishes a person’s control over his or her movements and speech. Parkinson’s disease affects an estimated 6.3 million people worldwide, according to the European parkinson’s disease association.