WATCH | EU approves sales of the world's first battery-powered artificial heart

13 January 2021 - 12:30
By Reuters

Artificial heartmaker Carmat will begin sales of its devices from the second quarter of 2021 after a long-awaited European Commission approval.

Given recurring shortages of donors, Carmat's device aims to give patients with end-stage biventricular heart failure, a deadly condition where the heart is no longer able to pump blood adequately around the body, an alternative to hospital stays.

Carmat's CEO Stephane Piat said: “The idea behind this heart, which was born nearly 30 years ago, was to create a device which would replace heart transplants, a device that works physiologically like a human heart, one that's pulsating, self-regulated and compatible with blood.”

Piat said the company was striving to secure an extension of the EU approval so that it could cater to people who, because of pre-existing conditions, could not be considered on the waiting list for a heart transplant.

The battery-powered material weighs 900 grams, while a human heart weighs 300 grams, and will cost more than $180,000 (R2.77m).