The history of MicroPort is an interesting and complicated one. The company was founded in China over 20 years ago and grew in the West through acquisitions. The most recent purchase was the cardiac rhythm management sector of LivaNova headquarted in London (UK) resulting from the merge between Sorin (Italy) and Cyberonics (US). Sorin was founded over 50 years ago and was one of the first companies that created a pacemaker for the medical market.
Today, the MicroPort Group has ten different companies operating under its name. “I first joined the firm when it was still Sorin, and stepped into my current position after the acquisition occurred,” says Benoit Clinchamps, President. Presently, MicroPort CRM has over 25 products on the market that fall into the categories of, pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) devices, cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices, leads, patient follow-up and arrhythmia assessment.
The pacemakers and ICDs are made of titanium and are implanted under the skin of the patient. They are connected to the heart via a lead. The devices measure heart rate, detects arrhythmia and delivers therapy in the form of an electrical signal.
“The product treats abnormal cardiac rhythm and helps the heart go back into a normal rhythm,” adds Mr. Clinchamps. CRT devices help with the resynchronization of the left and right sides of the heart. They improve the pumping effect, are for the treatment of heart failure and have a remote monitoring system.
“Devices are connected to a system that has secured infrastructure, which gets data from the device on a daily basis,” explains Mr. Clinchamps. Doctors can access this data and check the heart’s rhythm and therapies received through the device. This secure system can also send alerts when something is wrong and action needs to be taken. Such as, when the heart’s rhythm is unusually fast and the system needs to send a shock to correct the problem. MicroPort CRM has worked to make this system be the best it can be, because it is a very important service for the doctors and patients.
Currently, the firm has the smallest pacemakers on the market and has worked extensively with its R & D department to optimize the size. Their ICDs have the greatest projected longevity, which is very important, because for the health of the patient, doctors want to change out the device as seldom as possible.
Presently, the lifespan of the devices is 10 to 15 years, the longest of the market. Other innovations the business is looking into include, the development of new systems that can more closely monitor patients. “Today, many devices are connected through RF technology, but we want to use Bluetooth in the near future,” states Mr. Clinchamps.
The company sells the only sensor-based system for automatically optimizing cardiac resynchronization therapy for the treatment of heart failure. Benoit ClinchampsPresident
Right now, Bluetooth technology is advanced enough for this to happen and the company anticipates launching of a new range pf pacemakers using Bluetooth by the end of 2020. Using this alternate form of tech would mean that the whole process of connecting patient and doctor would be easier and more comfortable.
To show its commitment to R&D, MicroPort announced at a meeting with President Macron at Versailles, that it would be investing 350 million USD over the next five years, mostly in France. This will help fund new innovations and grow the company. Production will also remain at an unparalleled level since the firm has the largest clean room in France.
80% of the firm’s revenue comes from Europe, 10% from Japan and 10% from other countries spread out around the world. MicroPort hopes to develop other markets further, particularly those in China, the US, Australia and several African countries.
The company also wants to develop new services so that it not only sells devices, but offers actual services. “My personal motivation is to improve the performance of the company and grow the business,” concludes Mr. Clinchamps.