German Cardiac Surgeon Estimates That the Market for a Company That can Provide a Good Enough Artificial Heart is Huge

Press Release July 3, 2023

Leading German cardiac surgeon Professor Jan Schmitto estimates that the number of end stage heart failure patients in Germany with a population of 82 million, is around 40-60,000 per year. Although not all these patients may meet the criteria for a total artificial heart (TAH), the market for a company that can provide a good one is huge.

Jan Schmitto is Professor of Cardiac Surgery in the Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, Transplant and Vascular Surgery at Hannover Medical School, Germany. He is head of the Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) program and of the innovation department "Active Device Technologies", as well as surgical director of the multidisciplinary heart failure unit. Professor Schmitto has contributed to Hannover being one of the leading and most innovative clinics for advanced heart failure in the world and performs 60-100 LVAD (Left Ventricle Assist Device) implantations annually. He has published more than 280 peer-reviewed scientific articles and has been involved in the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) for many years, including the organization's committee and the advanced MCS Academy.

“In Germany alone with 82 million inhabitants, there are estimations existing that 40-60,000 patients with severe heart failure could potentially benefit from a new heart every year. However, organ donor shortage only allows for around 300 heart transplants per year in Germany. With a good TAH on the market, many of these patients' lives could potentially be saved, while providing them with a good quality of life. Better treatment options also could potentially contribute significantly to reducing healthcare costs for society," said Prof. Jan Schmitto.

In Germany, thousands of patients are waiting in line, but less than 300 heart transplants are performed annually. In high-income countries, cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death globally and with the treatment methods used today, patients suffer from long-term health problems and hospitalization. This means personal suffering and a high burden and cost to the healthcare system.

“In theory, a patient can live a normal life for many years with a TAH, but it is too early to say exactly how long as there is limited data available. "Realheart's TAH is very promising because, among other things, it has a natural pulsating blood flow similar to that of the human heart," said Prof. Schmitto.

“It is very valuable that heart surgeon Jan Schmitto speaks so positively about TAH therapy in general and the opportunities Realheart does have on the market. We know that advanced heart failure contributes to other complications such as kidney and lung problems. A TAH can help restore blood circulation and other body functions in previously severely ill patients so that they can survive and live with improved quality of life," said Ina Laura Perkins, CEO of Realheart.

The meeting with Schmitto resulted in a filmed interview: https://youtu.be/GmiIBBApKWo