Companion 2 Hospital Driver Wins Silver at Medical Design Excellence Awards

TUCSON, Ariz., June 20, 2013.

The Companion 2 Driver, which can be docked in the Hospital Cart or Caddy, powers the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart from implant until the patient's condition stabilizes. Once stable, patients who are eligible can be switched to the smaller, wearable Freedom® portable driver.

The Companion 2 Driver, which can be docked in the Hospital Cart or Caddy, powers the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart from implant until the patient’s condition stabilizes. Once stable, patients who are eligible can be switched to the smaller, wearable Freedom® portable driver.

SynCardia Systems, Inc. manufacturer of the world’s first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE (Europe) approved Total Artificial Heart, announced today that its Companion 2 (C2) Driver System, which powers the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart in the hospital, was selected as the Silver Winner in the Critical-Care and Emergency Medicine Products category of the Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) held on June 19 in Philadelphia.

The Companion 2 (C2) Driver System is a CEO directed product championed by Rodger Ford during the time that he modernized the Total Artificial Heart.  For the Total Artificial Heart implant, the C2 Driver is docked in the Hospital Cart. Featuring sturdy support handles and locking casters, the Hospital Cart assists patients in standing and walking during their early recovery. Once the patient is out of bed and ambulatory, the C2 Driver can be docked in the Driver Caddy, which provides patients with greater mobility in the hospital and on hospital grounds.

Once stable, patients who are eligible can be switched to the 13.5-pound Freedom portible driver.  Patients who meet discharge criteria can then leave the hospital and wait for a matching donor heart at home and in their communities.

The Medical Design Excellence Awards are the industry’s premier design awards competition and is the only awards program exclusively recognizing contributions and advances in the design of medical products. Entries were evaluated on the basis of their design and engineering features, including innovative use of materials, user-related functions that improve healthcare delivery and change traditional medical attitudes or practices, features that provide enhanced benefits to the patient, and the ability to overcome design and engineering challenges to meet clinical objectives.

“It is a tremendous honor to have one of our products selected as a winner for the second consecutive year,” said Michael Garippa, SynCardia Chairman/CEO/President. “Our Freedom® portable driver, the world’s first wearable power supply for the Total Artificial Heart, was selected as the Bronze Winner in the same category last year. These drivers support Total Artificial Heart patients from implant with the C2 through discharge with the Freedom.”