The advent and rapid modernization of technology has made life simple across all walks of life, and medical science is no exception.
Heart patients, who require pacemakers to maintain their heart rhythm, are next in line to benefit from the high-tech gadget developed by U.S-based company Nanostim.
The company has got a go-ahead to market its tiny, wireless pacemaker in the European Union. The pacemaker is leadless and can be inserted into the human body without any invasive medical procedure.
The amazing features
Unlike a conventional pacemaker wherein a pocket is created inside the patient after cutting him open, the wireless pacemaker is inserted via a catheter through the femoral vein near the groin. The latter procedure requires only half an hour.
The battery life is reportedly between 9 and 13 years. What is appreciable is that the pacemaker is easily retrievable to replace the battery.
The new pacemaker minimizes the risk of infection and malfunction as it does not have the ‘weakest link’ that traditional pacemakers have; the wires.
Medical experts have called this battery-driven gadget, which is one-tenth the size of a conventional pacemaker as an “exciting development”.
“This revolutionary technology offers patients a safe, minimally-invasive option for pacemaker delivery that eliminates leads and surgical pockets,” said Dr Johannes Sperzel of the Kerchhoff Klinik in Bad Nauheim, Germany.
It is, however, important to remember that these are the ‘early days’ and only time will decide whether this pacemaker is effective or not. The problems with its use will also uncover with passage of time.
Prof Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, “Before this leadless pacemaker becomes widely available, we need a better understanding of how long it will last, as well as how easy it is to replace if necessary. As our knowledge of this new pacemaker widens, so too will the expertise needed to fit this potentially exciting device.”
The Nanostim’s pacemaker does not have the US FDA approval as yet. The manufacturer of the device has recently been acquired by manufacturer of global medical devices, St. Jude.