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Pacesetter’s 1973 Rechargeable Pacemaker

Demo of a rechargeable Pacesetter pacemaker at the Udvar-Hazy Center.  www.implantable-device.com, David Prutchi PhD

Yesterday I visited the Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Chantilly, VA.  There I found this demo rechargeable pacemaker being displayed as a spinoff of NASA’s technology with the following explanation:

Demo of a rechargeable Pacesetter pacemaker at the Udvar-Hazy Center.  www.implantable-device.com, David Prutchi PhD

Pacesetter model BD102 VVI rechargeable pacemaker  www.implantable-devices.com David Prutchi PhDI can’t remember exactly where I found the picture of a Pacesetter model BD102 VVI, but the story behind it is documented by Kirk Jeffrey in “Machines in our Hearts”:

“In 1968, Robert Fischell, of the Applied Physics LOaboratory at Johns Hopkins University, and cardiologist Kenneth B. Lewis had begun a collaboration that led in 1973 to a new kind of Ni-Cad battery able to function more effectively at body temperature and hermetically sealable.  Alfred E. Mann, a California entrepreneur with background in the aerospace industry, had provided some financial support to the Hopkins group.  Eventually Mann founded a small company to develop a pacemaker for the rechargeable battery; this was the origin of Pacesetter Systems.  The rechargeable pacemaker reached the market in the summer of 1973, just as CPI introduced its lithium pacer.”

 

 
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