Cardiovascular Systems Inc. – Transcending Mere Business Results

IMG_1581Although I’ve met thousands of passionate designers and engineers, my conversation with Christopher Narveson stands out. Along with his team of designers and engineers, Chris designs life-saving devices that clear deadly blockages from clogged arteries.

Every engineer takes pride in finding creative solutions to complex design problems. Every designer loves adding a measure of usability, efficiency, ergonomics, aesthetics, durability, sustainability, or safety to a product.

But Chris’ work is a little different.

“I’ve watched a pair of pallid feet turn healthy pink as the doctors use our Diamondback 360 PAD System to restore circulation,” said Christopher, design services manager at Cardiovascular Systems Inc. (CSI) of St. Paul, Minn. “The procedure can help a home-bound patient get up and walk the beach with his or her spouse overnight. It can eliminate the need for amputation, which has devastating lifestyle consequences. Helping people this way makes it a joy to go to work in the morning.” 

The Diamondback 360® PAD System is pretty cool. The device helps clinicians perform orbital atherectomy, an alternative to high-pressure angioplasty for some peripheral artery disease (PAD) patients. The new procedure uses disposable, diamond-coated, catheter- based artery probes of varying sizes to sand away plaque, which can be as hard as bone. Careful, high-speed sanding can open a smooth pipe for significantly improved blood flow, reducing the risk of rupturing blood vessels or breaking off stroke-inducing chunks of plaque. More than 99% of the particles are smaller than a red blood cell, and are washed away with the patient’s blood flow.

This video shows how the Diamondback 360 works (1:44 to 3:20), the specific problems it addresses, and who it helps.

We should all have a job like Chris’s, one that pays the bills and contributes so much to the world. PAD patients are lucky to have him and his team designing the equipment, in SolidWorks, that can save their lives.

Read more in today's news release.


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