The Heart of the Matter: Innovations in Healthcare Technology
Heart Health Innovations

The Heart of the Matter: Innovations in Healthcare Technology

When Dr. Jack Kreindler was born, the average life expectancy for a man in the U.K. was about 71 years. Just 45 years later, that estimate has improved by nearly a decade, according to numbers from the Office of National Statistics. But with a longer lifespan comes complications.

According to Dr. Kreindler, founder of the Center for Health and Human Performance in London, longer lives doesn't change the fact that our hearts can't last forever, no matter how healthily we live.

"Heart disease is still the number one cause of death, and heart failure is a very significant part of that," said the physiologist. But innovation in healthcare technology such as the left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is helping to change the landscape of care.

"One thing that a technology like this enables us to see is that there is hope and a bridge towards more lasting solutions," Kriendler explained.

If a person suffers from heart failure, it could be because the muscle is unable to move all the blood into the body. That's where the LVAD comes in — it's a pump, much like the heart itself. While the device doesn't replace the heart, it helps it do its job.

At Abbott, we've reimagined how blood passes through an LVAD. Innovative magnetic levitation technology helps reduce trauma to the blood passing through the pump. The device's rotor becomes completely contact-free, levitating within the blood, thereby eliminating friction or blood cell damage.

On this episode of Health Tech on the Horizon, presented by Abbott, Kriendler is joined by Dr. Andy Fleischli, head of the Abbott Mechanical Circulatory Support Office where the Maglev tech was created. He explained that this technology is not just about making life longer.

"It comes back to not only extending life but also bettering the quality of life by adding devices like an LVAD," he said. "This goes one step further than it was before with other things like a pacemaker."

Tune in to learn more about how innovation is changing the present and future of healthcare.

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