Johnson Space Center is pairing with BiVACOR, Inc., to improve the robustness
and reliability of the company’s Total Artificial Heart (TAH) system — an
implantable rotary bi-ventricular blood pump and associated external
electronics. On Oct. 1, the partnership was inked via a Reimbursable Space Act
Agreement during a commencement ceremony.
will leverage NASA’s expertise in Problematic Risk Assessment to help the
medical industry assess the risk of ground-breaking high-reliability technology
for medical components in extreme environments.
are very pleased to be able to use the expertise of our safety community here
at the Johnson Space Center to help BiVACOR advance their life-saving
technology,” said Rex Walheim, deputy manager of Safety and Mission Assurance
is a leader in providing risk management and analysis where test capability and
data are limited, and BiVACOR hopes the TAH will benefit from the unique
methods and technologies perfected by the agency for human explorers who
routinely live and work in hazardous situations. The insight gained from this
collaboration could positively impact the safety, reliability and physical
dimensions of future medical devices.
Problematic Risk Assessment, NASA will focus on analyzing the hardware design
of the Non Form Factor Controller components, filling in the gaps to compensate
for scenarios where test data is limited. BiVACOR will, in turn, use the
findings to implement risk improvements to the controller.
company is excited to cooperate with NASA’s Johnson Space Center to enhance the
safety critical features of our artificial heart,” said CEO and Chief Technical
Officer BiVACOR Daniel Timms, Ph.D.
the fast-changing world of medical technology is inherently risky business,
with Johnson’s proficiency in mitigating hazards in other worlds, the resulting
added reliability for devices like the TAH will give future recipients hope —
and, optimistically, heart.
Left to Right: Donna Shafer, JSC Associate Director, Rex Walheim, Astronaut and Deputy Director of Safety & Mission Assurance, Daniel Timms, Ph.D., CEO, CTO of BiVACOR, Inc
Walheim and Timms celebrate the agreement.
Spot Jim McIngvale “Mattress Mack,” Houston businessman & entrepreneur who was responsible for making the introduction of Walheim and Timms, which led to the agreement.