New device differs from pacemakers for those with heart failure


COLUMBUS, Ohio — A central Ohio man diagnosed and living with heart failure for the past five years is the first to be implanted with a life-changing device called the Optimizer Smart System since it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

David Crabtree had the procedure in May at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The procedure is minimally invasive and took less than an hour. Crabtree was released from the hospital to go home the next day.

“It was the day before my birthday, so it was like a birthday present,” Crabtree said.

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The Optimizer Smart System is for patients like Crabtree who have heart failure but are not candidates for heart pumps. The 69-year-old man was on a drug therapy regimen and talked with his doctors about clinical trials and new treatments.

Ohio State cardiologist Rami Kahwash said the Optimizer is different than a pacemaker because unlike a pacemaker, which manages the heart rhythm, this device delivers stimulation to the cardiac muscles and helps strengthen the heartbeat of the patient.

Dr. Kahwash called the Optimizer a game changer, “It is exciting it offers really another line of treatment to millions of patients who otherwise would only have medical therapy and that will add a quality of life,” he said.

Dr. Kahwash and a team of researchers at The Ohio State University recruited patients from central Ohio and Wexner Medical Center clinics.