magAssist VAD Heart Pump

  • 2022

  • Product
    Medical and Scientific

Commissioned By:


Designed In:


magAssist’s external VAD Heart Pump keeps heart failure patients alive while awaiting interventions such as heart transplants. A patented, magnetic impeller mimics a natural heart, reducing blood cell damage common in traditional pumps. Designed to compete against and exceed benchmarks it will initially launch in China, before being sold globally.

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Image: Haydn Cattach
Image: Cobalt Design
Image: Haydn Cattach
Image: Haydn Cattach
Image: Cobalt Design
Image: Cobalt Design
Image: Cobalt Design
Image: Cobalt Design
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  • For their first product, magAssist aimed for a moonshot: a Class III medical device that would exceed global standard-bearers (Medtronic, Maquet etc) in technology, user-experience, design and quality. The ambitiousness of magAssist's brief's was exceeded only by their founder's belief and the capabilities of their growing team of biomedical, mechatronics, magnetic levitation and CFD experts. Design challenges included: •Usability > Instant, precise control of flowrate and motor speed during life-critical procedures. •Human-centred > Heart surgeons' needs sought and met •Flexibility > Portable to suit all hospital and usage scenarios •Configurable > Highly positionable to reduce tube length •Desirable > Expressed, worldclass quality and aesthetics

  • Already a lifesaver within clinical trials, MoyoAssist® Extra-VAD is a Class III device ontrack to reach its endgoal of FDA and global availability. •Usability > Large touchscreen’s clear hierarchy complemented by a haptic/tactile multifunctional rotary controller allowing intuitive, rapid control of speed/ flowrates. •Human-centred > The design meet’s surgeons' needs for precise, failsafe and instant control as well as patient wellbeing. Unlike traditional motors, the patented magnetically levitated impeller reduces bloodcell damage. •Flexibility > Compact/rugged body houses 2hrs runtime internal battery •Configurable > Patented multiadjustable, ambidextrous motor arm suits any patient-hospital setup •Desirable > Deliberately clinical visual language contrasts technology highlights and branding references.

  • The project has already met its primary objective of enhancing and saving lives through the VAD Heart Pump’s design. Like other developing countries, China’s incidences of treatable cardiovascular disease is amongst the world’s highest. Yet access to ventricular-assistance devices, treatments is amongst the lowest. Compared to advanced countries this differential results in a staggeringly tragic human toll. magAssist’s VAD flips this; catapulting the latest magnetic pump technology into a highly accessible device. Not content with simply ‘repackaging’ existing tech into a basic, firstgen model, magAssist have raised-the-bar through design; improving clinician usability and control in a high quality, functional form.

  • Further to above, other features and impacts of this project include: Full development > Cobalt was engaged after the client developed their core magnetic pump technology to initial prototype level. Since then we’ve partnered with magAssist across most facets of their business - beyond the main instrument design/engineering - to include; •Strategic product roadmapping, planning •User-insights (VOC from heart surgeons etc) •GUI user journey mapping, design •Mechanical design of the motor support arm •Packaging design of shipper box, consumables •Technical user animations Commercial > Based on the project's successful progress - magAssist has attracted significant external investment and are well advanced in the development of further cardiovascular disease (CVD) devices, as well as their own ISO13485 manufacturing site. Even by Chinese standards, magAssist’s growth has been impressive, built on a consistent approach to being at/better than world standard across all facets. Australian design > Exporting worldclass Australian design and engineering to a Chinese technology company is a significant milestone for our industry. Wanting a highly responsive and global-standard provider, magAssist chose Cobalt ahead of German and UK firms, and continue to engage us on their future CVD devices. Together with our work for US and UK clients, Cobalt’s exports continue to grow and attract Export Awards.