Local pacemaker cheaper and smaller

The pacemaker's size is 8 cubic centimeters, making it the smallest such device on the Chinese market, and especially suitable for local patients.
Ti Gong

The RegaTM series pacemaker is 8 cubic centimeters, making it the smallest such device on the Chinese market.

China’s first domestically made pacemaker to meet international standards has been implanted in the first batch of patients in Shanghai and other provinces.

The pacemaker, developed in Shanghai's Zhangjiang High-Tech Park in Pudong, has helped multiple patients with slow heart rates (bradycardia) in China's eastern, central, southern and north-western cities to recover.

In the first local case, a RegaTM series pacemaker was implanted in a local patient suffering from bradycardia and abnormal heartbeat at the Shanghai Chest Hospital on Monday. The surgery took 45 minutes and the patient was released three days later.

The pacemaker’s size is just 8 cubic centimeters, making it the smallest such device on the Chinese market, and especially suitable for Chinese patients, said Li Ruogu, director of the hospital's Cardiac Function Room.

“The cut is smaller so the patient can recover more quickly,” Li said.

The local product also has a longer service life of 10 to 12 years.

Moreover, it is about 30 percent cheaper than imported pacemakers, according to its manufacturer, MicroPort Sorin CRM (Shanghai) Co.

As most pacemakers in China are imported, the production of the home-developed device is also expected to challenge the domination of foreign pacemakers, the company said.

China has about a million bradycardia patients who need pacemakers implanted, with an estimated 400,000 new cases annually. Recently only 80,000 patients have been able to receive the implant annually, mainly due to the high price, the company said.

About 540,000 people die of sudden cardiac arrest each year in China. The country started researching pacemakers in the 1960s, but domestic production never amounted to much due to a lack of technical know-how.

Hong Kong-listed MicroPort Scientific Corporation and its Italian partner established a joint venture in 2014 and began research for domestically manufactured pacemakers under the international medical device quality management system.


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