Would VAD Patients Feel Nervous About Having An Internal Wireless Supply Source?

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How would  VAD patients feel about the prospect of totally internal implants with no external driveline or electrical supply?   Would you feel insecure or nervous about not having your supply source outside your body?  Here’s an interesting article about another wireless  implant that is being developed.

Another LVAD Company Joins Quest for Fully Implantable System


Posted in Implantable Devices by mthibault on April 8, 2015

ReliantHeart announces a partnership with Dualis MedTech to create a wireless LVAD that uses transcutaneous energy transfer.

ReliantHeart is working to make its HeartAssist5 fully implantable.

Over the past few years, giants in the field of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) Thoratec and HeartWare have both discussed efforts to create an LVAD that can be implanted completely within the body, eliminating the need for an external driveline. Now, ReliantHeart, a Houston, TX-based company that makes the HeartAssist5 (HA5) LVAD, has announced a partnership with Dualis MedTech GmbH to develop a fully-implantable LVAD.

The HA5 has CE Mark approval and is being studied in an FDA trial. Under the partnership, Dualis will integrate its MedBase wireless energy transfer technology with the HA5 LVAD, forming a system that uses less than half the energy of other full flow LVADs, according to a press release.

The MedBase technology will also be used to create a wireless, fully-implantable LVAD that is powered by magnetic coils inside and outside the body. This wireless system is slated to be available in 2016, according to ReliantHeart. What’s more, patients with a HA5 will be able to get rid of their external drivelines and upgrade to the wireless system without having to change out the heart pump.

Dualis, which was spun out of the German Centre for Aeronautics and Aerospace (DLR), has been developing the MedBase technology since 2006. Dualis chief executive officer Stephan Sagolla said in a press release, “The internal coil is about two inches in diameter and will communicate with an internal battery and power management much like a pacemaker system. The patient will be wireless.”

A fully implantable LVAD has long been the goal for this therapy. LVADs have allowed patients to enjoy relatively high survival rates and more active lifestyles, but driveline infections, often around the area where the power driveline exits the patient’s body, have been a somewhat frequent adverse event. Showering, swimming, and water-related activities remain difficult for patients because of the use of external power.

ReliantHeart has been working with Dualis and a number of other companies to improve the LVAD technology. Rodger Ford, ReliantHeart chief executive officer, said in a press release, “Our mission is to compress time and accelerate beneficial outcomes. Artificial heart pumps need power but running wires through the skin leads to infection and patient discomfort. The solution is to invent a device to transfer power without wires.”

The company also recently announced a partnership with Kollmorgen Corp. to reduce HA5 power consumption by 50% with an energy efficient motor stator. The announcement explained that energy efficiency would help achieve the goal of a wirelessly-powered LVAD.

Both HeartWare and Thoratec, the two companies selling LVADs commercially in the United States, have partnerships to create a fully implantable LVAD. Thoratec has collaborated with WiTricity Corp. since 2010and HeartWare has been working with Dualis MedTech since 2011.

10 Comments

  1. Peggy Ryan

    My husband has a heartware lvad implanted 2015. This is so encouraging to hear as right now he is destination. His dream is to be able to shower daily and be able to swim

    • Sheri Bishop

      I certainly hope the wireless VAD will be a reality in the not-so-distant future. I know it would make life a lot more normal for VAD patients.

      By the way, there is a product on our site called Aquaguard which will protect the site from water in a shower. This allows the patient to shower as much as he likes. Wound Care Resources bills this product for many patients along with their other VAD supplies.

  2. Mohamed saeed awadh

    I had LVAD in sep2015 .it is really hard to live with it I hope the wireless will help me .

  3. Monica McFarlan

    WOW!! this has been my prayer since I received my first LVAD in May 2011. I was ex planted in February of 2014,, and then had a heart attack in October and was reimplanted with another LVAD in November. I’m so ready for wireless devices. I’m ready to swim with my children and be wire free!

    • Sheri Bishop

      Monica,
      I hope you will be able to get one of these once approved. Thanks for coming to our website.

  4. Scott Denney

    How would the batteries work, how big are they and how could you get in water with them?

  5. bob bishop

    While I hope in the future for a transplant, the idea of something like this would be amazing. Getting along with the LVAD is a big adjustment, but so was the adjustment from being healthy to being at deaths door.

  6. emily brockman

    Being a patient with an LVAD myself, a totally wireless Vad is a dream come true! Have had mine since 8/25/14 & I miss swimming & being able to be in water so much. I am also highly concerned with the possible driveline infections. We take every precaution, but there are no guarantees. Please keep me updated & in the loop.

    • Sheri Bishop

      Emily,
      Thanks for your input. If you come to the website and click on one of the articles, there is a place below an article where you can sign up to receive notification that there is a new article or a comment.

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