It’s not every day that you get to hold a heart in your hand. So when Randi Klett called and asked if I wanted to photograph Daniel Timms and his revolutionary artificial human heart, I said “hell yes”.
You can read all about Timms and his quest to develop this artificial heart in the September issue of IEEE Spectrum. The tech behind this new heart sounds it’s right out of a science fiction movie.
For starters, it’s made of titanium. The device is also a fraction of the size of current artificial hearts making it possible to be used in women and children. The entire device has one space-aged moving part which is suspended in a magnetic field so it will never wear out.
Those features feel downright normal next to the heart’s main innovation: instead of ‘beating”, it delivers blood at a constant rate. Said another way, patients that have one of these implanted will have no pulse.
Don’t worry, Timms and his company Bivacore have come up with a pseudo pulse so that hospital diagnostic equipment doesn’t go haywire. However, the fact remains that while this artificial heart might be the key to prolonging your life, it will work very differently than the heart you were born with – maybe even better.