What do people think about the heart sleeve? Here’s what our experts have to say…

"The heart sleeve could be a valuable addition to existing solutions. "

John Pepper, surgeon and Professor in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Imperial College London

'Previous attempts to regularly compress the heart failed because contact between the heart and device was uneven and inconsistent. This invention may have solved both these problems. If so, it could be a very valuable addition to the current solutions available for patients with severe heart failure. '

John Pepper

Image: John Pepper

"Reliability is a major engineering challenge. "

Sian E Harding, Professor of Cardiac Pharmacology, Imperial College London

'The robotic sleeve overcomes some of the main issues facing current devices used to support heart function, such as complications of clotting or stroke due to blood-thinning medication. However, the heart beats 100,000 times a day so reliability is a big engineering challenge.'

Sian E Harding

Image: Sian E Harding

"It could improve the quality of life for patients."

David Grieve, British Society for Cardiovascular Research

'Currently, patients awaiting heart transplants prolong their lives through drugs and other devices with unpleasant and often dangerous side effects. This new device could improve the quality of life for these patients by supporting heart function more effectively. '

David Grieve

Image: David Grieve

"Researchers could consider alternative methods of powering a heart sleeve. "

Philip Breedon, Professor of Smart Technologies, Nottingham Trent University

'This research is still in its early stages and has had some encouraging initial results. The device currently relies on an external air pump to power it. An alternative approach might be to use smart materials which could be controlled by an implanted power source. '

Philip Breedon

Image: Philip Breedon

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