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First Implantable artificial heart gets FDA’s approva

e 2 external batteries also in this system that permit the patient to freely move for about 2 hours. Plugging into an electrical outlet while the batteries are being recharged can charge the system.

The size of the device permits it to be implanted only in people who are at least 6 feet tall and weigh at least 170 pounds, Zuckerman said. Hence, it may not be of use to most women.

Patients, who get the device implanted in them, will be under scrutiny with the ultimate aim of artificial heart devlopment that can replace heart transplant in all cases. "Those individuals [who get this device] are really pioneers in trying to develop this technology," Zuckerman said. "Hopefully, down the road it will be a better technology and more affordable. Without those people who volunteer to participate in this program, the development of this kind of technology for all of us wouldn't be possible."

Around $250,000 will be the cost of the device and whether insurance will cover the costs is not clear, Shultz said.

A post-market review of the device will be carried out by the manufacturer at 10 places in the U.S. as a part of the FDA approval. The use and safety of the device will be assessed by the study and this will pave way for further improvements.

Though it is a revolution in technology it won't replace heart transplants, says an expert.

"This will not supplant heart transplantation from human donors, which has many advantages over the artificial heart," said Dr. Byron K. Lee, an assistant professor of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco. "Nevertheless, this will give those patients who do not qualify for traditional heart transplants an opportunity for improved quality of life."
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