Smithsonian’s “Bionic Man” Documentary Featuring the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart Earns British Film Award
Viewed by Hundreds of Millions of People, the Documentary Notes that the SynCardia Heart is its Only Internal Organ that is Saving Lives Today
TUCSON, Ariz. – Dec. 3, 2013 – The story of the bionic man with the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart has become an award-winning documentary that is making the rounds on television worldwide.
The television debut of “How to Build a Bionic Man” won a British Documentary Award for Best Science or Natural History Documentary. The award was presented Nov. 4, 2013 by The Grierson Trust, which annually honors the best documentary filmmaking in Britain and elsewhere. Judges described the documentary as a “mix of fascinating science and humor.” The project to put together a robot using the latest technology was a joint effort that included the Smithsonian and London’s Science Museum. The robot is on display at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum until Dec. 11.
More than one billion viewers around the world were captivated by news coverage of the show. News mentioning SynCardia or its Artificial Heart was seen by more than 180.7 million people in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australia. Also, most news coverage that did not directly mention SynCardia or the Total Artificial Heart showed the SynCardia Heart in news segments reaching millions more viewers. In addition, hundreds of millions saw the 46-minute documentary that had more than six minutes devoted to the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart. These numbers are growing as distribution to other markets continues to roll out.
The show debuted in the United Kingdom on February 2013. The US version titled “The Incredible Bionic Man” started broadcasting on the Smithsonian Channel on Oct. 20, 2013. It also was shown on Brazilian and Canadian television and eventually will appear in other countries. It is available on the internet in some areas of the world and is also available through iTunes.
The 46-minute film shows roboticists and engineers putting together a $1 million robot using the most advanced technology available or in prototype that replace human organs and limbs. While host Dr. Bertholt Meyer expresses hope that the organ prototypes would one day be available, he notes that the SynCardia Heart is already saving lives today.
A six-minute segment of the documentary featured the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart, showing the implantation in a patient at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. Built by SynCardia Systems, Inc. in Tucson, Arizona, the device is the world’s first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE (Europe) approved Total Artificial Heart. It serves as a bridge to transplant for patients suffering from end-stage heart failure that affects both sides of the heart (biventricular failure).
The SynCardia Heart is the only manmade device that eliminates the symptoms and source of end-stage biventricular heart failure. It has been implanted in more than 1,250 patients worldwide, accounting for more than 335 patient years of life on the device.
About SynCardia Systems, LLC
SynCardia Systems, LLC in Tucson, Ariz., is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. For people suffering from end-stage heart failure affecting both sides of the heart (biventricular failure), the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart is used as a bridge to transplant, helping them survive until a matching donor heart becomes available. SynCardia also manufactures the Freedom® portable driver, which powers the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart and allows clinically stable patients to be discharged from the hospital to enjoy life at home while they wait for a heart transplant.
Janelle Drumwright, firstname.lastname@example.org, (520) 547-7463