WORK

Novashunt

The Request

NovaShunt saw an opportunity to improve the quality of life for those suffering from peritoneal ascites fluid accumulation, a condition wherein fluid builds up in the abdomen due to liver disease, congestive heart failure, and certain cancers. Working closely with IDEO on the design aspects of the product, IDEO and NovaShunt approached Mindtribe develop solutions to the tough technical challenges required to deliver the product. The medical staff at NovaShunt leaned on the Mindtribe’s engineering team for the design of an implanted pump. Mindtribe participated actively in the required in vivo trials to prove out the device, ultimately delivering on the custom pump design, optimized inductive power delivery systems, and robust RF communications, as well as extensive testing and analysis.

The Work

The project entailed the design of a complex and invasive medical device. Mindtribe took responsibility for the design of an electrical system for the extremely sensitive piece of technology that was meant to be implanted in the body as well as the wireless charger (Smart Charger). The device was designed to pump fluid from the abdomen to the bladder. Mindtribe built the first version that would be used in animal trials, with the expectation that Novashunt would start doing animal testing using this first version in order to get it to a point where they could reiterate and make it work for humans. Leveraging a “build less, faster” mentality, Mindtribe sped development of the wireless charging subsystem by hand-winding the first wireless charging coils, and later designed and built a custom transformer and custom silicone-cast structure around the wireless charging subsystem to allow fast prototyping and builds.

The Outcome

Knowing the impact the product would have on quality of life for patients suffering from this illness, the engineering team leveraged creativity and quick test cycles to deliver on elegant, reliable solutions to extremely tough technical challenges. The foundation established by the first version of the product enabled NovaShunt to continue to do testing and make necessary adjustments in order to get further into human trials. Today, launched and branded the Alfapump system, the product breaks through the boundaries that had previously constrained the lives of patients, allowing them to have the device implanted and charged wirelessly, providing relief, freedom and a more comfortable life.