A New Solution For South Africans With Deadly Heart Conditions

The first emerging market region’s implantation of the world’s smallest smart device to control heart beats and pumping action was performed recently by renowned Cardiologist, Dr Gopal and his team at the Cape Town AF Centre at Panorama hospital in Cape Town.

These devices, known as Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators (ICD), are increasingly being used worldwide and in developing countries, predominately for the management of life-threatening cardiac rhythm disorders.  

The Cape Town AF Centre with its experience of using these types of devices and its leading role in teaching doctors about electrophysiology, implanted this device into a 77-year-old patient with ischaemic cardiomyopathy (poor cardiac function due to coronary artery disease). He has had a successful ablation of his ventricular tachycardia with Dr. Gopal.

The new device, produced by BIOTRONIK, a leading global medical device organisation, has only recently been introduced in Europe, so this South African application occurred very early in the worldwide introduction of this medical device.

Unique features of this heart-support device are its greater longevity, reliability and ease of implantation; these are very important attributes in developing environments. The battery of the ICD (defibrillator only) device lasts for up to 15 years. The more sophisticated device, (ICD in combination with resynchronisation therapy, also referred to as CRT-D) which offers synchronisation of heart chamber pump action plus a ‘shock/defibrillation’ function, has a battery which lasts for up to 9 years.

This ultra slim and bio shaped device (10mm) is smart and can provide information directly to the clinic or doctor’s surgery remotely. It can also be kept working while full or partial body scans are done for diagnosis of other diseases.

Dr. Gopal’s unit remains one of the leading centres for management of cardiac arrhythmias on the African continent and he feels that the addition of the new platform of devices is in keeping the centre’s motto that “with innovation, comes cure”.


BIOTRONIK is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cardio and endovascular medical devices. Headquartered in Berlin, the company has a footprint in over 100 countries.  BIOTRONIK develops innovative cardiovascular products of the highest quality, designed to save and improve the quality of patients’ lives.

BIOTRONIK manufactures high-quality products to ensure patients’ safety. From design to manufacturing, the company engineers devices that surpass industry safety and reliability standards, while all therapies are clinically proven to prevent sudden cardiac arrest and benefit patients.

From educating physicians about how to implant devices to supporting them in person during complicated implantations, BIOTRONIK ensures excellent customer serviceunmatched educational, logistical and technical support.

For more information on BIOTRONIK, visit: https://www.biotronik.com/en-us