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Frontier Lifeline, a Chennai-based heart hospital has tied up with Russian scientists to manufacture a low-cost mechanical heart pump that can serve as an alternative to a transplant or as a temporary measure before transplant.

 

The 'Made in India' device will be available at one-third the cost of existing devices 30 lakh as against 90 lakh said senior cardiac surgeon Dr KM Cherian. The device, called Left Ventricular Assisted Device (LVAD), can be surgically implanted to help the heart pump more blood with less work.

The need for the device is huge in India but many patients die because they can't use this expensive device. We can't afford to have a backup if one device fails because the cost of the backup should be bared either by the patient or the hospital. In most cases, neither can afford. "This will change when we make this device in India," senior cardiac surgeon Dr KM Cherian said.

With a memorandum of understanding with the Russian manufacturers, the device called Sputnik, will be manufactured at Mediville, the SEZ Medical Science Park of Frontier Lifeline Hospitals on the outskirts of Chennai. On May 23, Dr Cherian signed the MoU with the Russian manufacturers. India will be the first Asian country and the third in the world to manufacture LVADs, after US and Germany.

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