SynCardia of Tucson, AZ, maker of the CardioWest Total Artificial Heart, has received European approval for the Freedom wearable driver. The device allows patients to get off the “Big Blue” driver that powers their heart in the hospital after implantation, and regain a sense of mobility while on wait for a permanent donated organ. It’s not clear how long the batteries last before requiring a recharge.
From the announcement:
SynCardia hospital drivers support patients from Total Artificial Heart implant until their condition stabilizes. Once stable, European patients will be switched to the Freedom driver and discharged from the hospital to wait for their matching donor heart at home.
The Freedom driver weighs 13.5 lbs including two onboard lithium ion batteries and a power adaptor. It can be conveniently carried by the patient in the Freedom Backpack or Shoulder Bag. The Freedom driver is 60% lighter than SynCardia’s older CE approved “proof of concept” portable driver, which weighs approximately 35 lbs and is transported in a wheeled caddy.
The Freedom driver uses a “dark cockpit” design philosophy for simple and easy operation. Similar to an airplane cockpit, the system only flashes a light or sounds an alarm when something requires the user’s attention.
To make maintenance easier for hospitals, the Freedom driver is serviced by replacement via express delivery. No onsite repair or inventory of parts is required by the hospital.
Press release: Freedom Driver System Receives CE Mark to Power SynCardia’s Total Artificial Heart in Europe …
Flashbacks: Medgadget’s SynCardia archives…
Images courtesy of syncardia.com.