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The Artificial heart program is just one specific example of how mankind shares its problems across borders and nationalities and, makes an automatic case for solving them together as a one mankind, said Mr Y S Chowdary, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Science & Technology, and Earth Sciences, while speaking at the as Artificial-Heart Indo-American collaboration conference at Hyderabad.

Collaboration is the key to making extraordinary breakthroughs and a rapid follow-up in taking these revolutionary designs and solutions to market, making them available at very affordable costs. The world will benefit from an affordable and safer solution to heart transplant. A multi-lateral and multi-national collaboration is not just welcome, but critical for large-scale success, Mr Chowdary said.

Such a global collaboration demands finding ways to ensure various regulatory regimes are complied with, and medical ethics, a highly crucial subject, is factored into the center of focus in every policy and decision, he said.

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Worldwide, there are many patients suffering from many incurable heart failures or anginas, which can be cured only with heart transplantation or an artificial heart. Unfortunately, demand for hearts needed for heart transplantation far exceeds supply of donor hearts. Moreover, treatment of rejection is costly and has many side-effects. Therefore, artificial heart is a reasonable alternative. Presently available artificial hearts are imperfect, have many complications and cost-prohibitive to many. There is a need to develop a better artificial heart at a much lower cost. India has vast pool of engineers and doctors who could develop an artificial heart; and I appreciate the early efforts being made in this regard, the Minister said.

Individual efforts with meagre means and developing from scratch will take unduly long time. I am delighted Dr. P.S. Reddy has developed a consortium of engineering institutions and industries within India, and is attempting an international collaboration to jump start the program to develop an artificial heart at a low cost and in a shorter period, Mr Chowdary said.

“I commend the humanitarian spirit of scientists from abroad who have extensive experience in development of the heart have come to share and collaborate with our scientists in India. I commend the multi-institutional collaboration spirit to make life saving devices available at affordable costs. The Department of Science and Technology, and the Government of India wholeheartedly supports such endeavours to make them a success,” he said.

“Our Prime Minister and all members of this government believe in Make in India. I am sure with a collaborative effort, we to make a better and cheaper artificial heart in India for the entire world soon,” the Minister added. “On a personal note, if there is an ideal artificial heart my father can use one today, I would forever be grateful to those who can make it happen as a son.”