A French robotics and medical device firm, Caranx Medical has announced that it has completed the world’s first robotic-assisted heart valve (aortic valve) implantation into a pig.

Carried out as a demonstration of the company’s robotic surgical system, the TAVI-PILOT, the device was able to successfully carry out a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) on a porcine model, as the company prepares for first-in-human use.

Designed to make TAVI procedures more commonly available as the prevalence of the surgery is set to increase, the TAVI-PILOT system was developed to multiply the number of interventional cardiologists comfortable performing TAVI procedures equipped with artificial intelligence (AI), designed to make the device easy to use.

Pierre Berthet-Rayne, co-founder of Caranx, said: “This groundbreaking achievement is the result of hard teamwork. At Caranx Medical, we are dedicated to improving patients’ lives through true innovation. This successful transcatheter robotic aortic valve implantation marks the first step toward a new generation of intelligent robots guided by AI, set to transform healthcare as we know it.”

A report by GlobalData details that the market for Transcatheter Heart Valves is set to grow rapidly from an estimated market value of $10m in 2023, rising to more than $2bn by 2033. The growth in the area is expected to be driven by advancing technology in the space and increasing surgeon comfort with the procedures.

Eric Sejor, co-founder of Caranx Medical, added: “This major medical first lies not only in the technical achievement of Caranx Medical’s engineers but also in the impact that this technology will have on interventional cardiology practice. By simplifying and standardizing a complex procedure, the robot we have developed opens up new possibilities for improving the performance and safety of TAVI procedures.”

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Now, the company says that it plans to expand its AI systems integrated into the TAVI device as it works to move into indications such as tricuspid valve replacements.

CEO of Caranx, Jorgen Hansen, added: “At Caranx Medical, we’re not just stopping at Aortic valve replacement. Our vision extends to developing our Artificial Intelligence Platform, currently containing more than 5000 annotated multimodality images of CT, Fluoroscopy, Echo, reports, etc. used to feed our AI algorithms and to revolutionize other endovascular indications, such as mitral and tricuspid valve replacements or even other endoluminal procedures, reshaping the landscape of interventional medicine”