Model-Based Systems Engineering: Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Therapy

  • Nathan L. Adams
  • L. Drew Pihera
  • Stephen P. Blalock
  • Matthew L. Paden
Part of the Simulation Foundations, Methods and Applications book series (SFMA)


ECMO therapy is used to treat patients with severe cardiac and/or respiratory failure and has been shown to improve patient survival rates.ECMO was introduced in the 1970’s and is now used in more than 230 medical centers worldwide.Despite the widespread use of ECMO therapy, the technology has not been subjected to the rigorous development cycle needed to improve system performance and correlate system architectures to patient outcomes.For example, the lack of formal standards for the arrangement of components that make up the ECMO circuit have resulted in a large number of unique ECMO solutions with unknown differential effectiveness.In addition, best practices for operation and maintenance, or training and certification of ECMO specialists are areas of the ECMO domain that have not been explored.Collaboration between systems engineering (SE) and medical professionals leverages SE principles to understand and solve ECMO technological and safety challenges.In the following case study, the SE approach is used to evaluate a children’s hospital’s ECMO system using model based systems engineering (MBSE) to capture the ECMO domain, concept of operations, need statement, high level use cases, requirements, system and user behaviors, and both abstract and physical structural designs.The system model is then used to enable the development of an ECMO Data Collaboration Tool (EDCT) concept that will one day allow the medical community to document ECMO circuits for best-of-breed analyses.


Circuit Design Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Blood Pump Part Property Circuit Architecture 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathan L. Adams
    • 1
  • L. Drew Pihera
    • 1
  • Stephen P. Blalock
    • 2
  • Matthew L. Paden
    • 3
  1. 1.Georgia Tech Research InstituteAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.MI TechnologiesSuwaneeUSA
  3. 3.Childrens Healthcare of AtlantaAtlantaUSA

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