Smallest pacemaker hogs CIIE limelight

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Micra AV, the world's smallest cardiac pacemaker that received regulatory approval in China in May and is currently on display at the fifth China International Import Expo, continues to receive much attention from both attendees and the public at large, its manufacturer said on Tuesday.

Medtronic, a healthcare technology company, said visitors to the CIIE have expressed amazement on the device's ultra-compact size and extreme lightweight specs, having only read about the pacemaker or seen its images earlier.

The star exhibit is 93 percent smaller than conventional pacemakers, and is about the size of a large vitamin capsule, Medtronic said.

Unlike most pacemakers that are placed in a patient's chest with leads running to the heart, the leadless pacemaker eliminates potential medical complications because it is implanted directly into the heart.

Exposure at the CIIE is certain to facilitate the pacemaker's deeper and quicker penetration into the Chinese market, Medtronic said.

"During the CIIE, our advanced treatments and technologies attracted great attention from healthcare professionals, patients and the public. Thanks to the heightened attention that the expo brings us, we are able to introduce our innovative products in the Chinese market at an accelerated pace," said Alex Gu, senior vice-president of Medtronic.

The pacemaker, which was first launched in the United States in January 2020, received the approval of the National Medical Products Administration in May. In August, it completed the first batch of transplantations in hospitals in China.

"The CIIE shortened the transition process of advanced medical devices from being displayed (at the expo) to coming to the market by one to one-and-a-half years," Gu said.

Medtronic said that at this year's CIIE, it is displaying, for the first time, three types of innovative surgical robots. Two of them target spinal surgery and neurosurgery, while the other, a robot-assisted soft tissue surgery system, makes its debut in China at the expo.

Medtronic owns one research and development center, two innovation centers and three production bases in China. It entered China in 1989 and has since introduced over 500 innovative products to the market.

"Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the constantly changing market environment, the CIIE sends out positive signals to the world. Taking advantage of the expo, we will speed up the process of introducing more high-quality, accessible and affordable medical solutions in the Chinese market," Gu said.

Hong Yong, associate research fellow of the e-commerce research department under the Ministry of Commerce, said, "The CIIE effectively promoted the supply and demand docking of goods and services from home and abroad, and offered more cooperation opportunities for domestic and foreign enterprises."

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