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Optimizing Artificial Heart Function in Sweden’s First Patient Simulator

Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death worldwide. In Sweden, 2% of people suffer from heart failure, a chronic condition where the heart muscle cannot provide enough blood flow to the body. Despite recent improvements, only 50% survive the first five years after diagnosis. The scarcity of donor organs makes heart pumps and artificial hearts the only alternative treatment. Now, a patient simulator has been developed to test an algorithm that controls the artificial heart – enabling it to adapt to the body’s needs.

The KTH leader of the project, Dr Seraina Dual, a Digital Futures faculty member and assistant professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at KTH, has reached the first milestone, building a hybrid simulator.

– We have recently finalized Sweden’s first hybrid mock circulation. This system allows heart pump testing in real-time interaction with a virtual patient, explains Dr. Seraina Dual, an expert in testing heart pumps, sensor systems, MRI systems and control algorithms.

The hybrid mock loop forms the basis for the research pair project of Seraina Dual and Stefan Bauer, Digital Futures Research pair project Data-driven cardiovascular assist devices. Using the hybrid mock loop as a physical interface, data-driven methods are used to innovate alternative cardiac assist devices.

More information and link to press release by Reheart on 19 January 2023.