Abiomed has entered into a strategic partnership with Opsens, a developer of fiber optic sensors. Through this partnership, Opsens’ sensor technology will be integrated into the Impella catheter to provide blood pressure measurements that can be used to enhance Impella’s performance and ease-of-use.
Impella, the smallest heart pump, has supported more than 1,600 patients in the US and more than 3,000 patients worldwide. Over the past fiscal year 2010, product enhancements to the Impella have included a new introducer sheath and a quick set-up software and kit, which have allowed customers to reduce the Impella set-up time from 11 minutes to 2 minutes.
Through this enhancement, Opsens’ fiber optic sensors will provide a high-quality pressure monitoring capability that can be used to help automate the control and operation of the Impella pump. Unlike current fiber optic sensors used on other cardiac assist devices such as certain Intra-Aortic Balloons (IABs), the fiber optic sensor is designed to provide longer-term accuracy and reliability.
David Weber, chief operating officer of Abiomed, said: “This partnership with Opsens further demonstrates Abiomed’s commitment to continue enhancing and updating Impella technology and providing better results for customers. By integrating Opsens’ technology into our Impella platform, we can provide our customers with even more calculated control and insight during their high-risk and emergent procedures.”