A blog about what is new (and old) in the world of active implantable medical devices 

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Pacesetter’s 1973 Rechargeable Pacemaker

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: I can’t remember exactly where I found the picture of a Pacesetter model BD102 VVI, but the story behind it

 
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One for History Buffs: Pacemaker Made in Brasil

My friend Daniel Villamil from CCC Medical in Uruguay sent me these pictures of a very unique device in his colection.  It is a late-1960s/early 1970s pacemaker made in Sao Paulo, Brasil. UPDATE Oct 3, 2012: CCC’s CEO Julio Arzuaga recalled that this pacemaker was manufactured in the early 1960s by the Instituto de Cardiologia Dante Pazzanese in

 
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Digikon’s History

In response to my post “A Challenge to History Buffs:  Who Was Digikon?“, Paolo Pagani sent me the following message: “Digikon was in the years 1977-1985 the brand name product in Italy by Biotec Biomedical Technologies of Bologna – ITALY. Pacemakers were a Digikon O.E.M. production for the trading company of Milan Italy KONTRON already

 
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The Australian Pacemaker: Telectronics (1965-1995)

In 1965, Australian medical device pioneer Noel Gray established Telectronics – Australia’s first manufacturing facility for producing pacemakers that were designed in-house.  Telectronics was an innovative developer, achieving some major successes in the early cardiac pacing field, for example, Telectronics’ leads allowed narrowing the pacing pulse to its current nominal of 0.5 milliseconds; encapsulating the pacemaker in titanium

 
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Remon Medical’s Implantable Pulmonary Pressure Sensor (1997-2007)

Remon Medical Technologies, Ltd. was founded in 1997 in Caesarea, Israel to develop implantable, wireless pressure sensors. Remon developed an implantable hemodynamic monitor, which allowed on-demand, non-invasive, leadless self-monitoring of pulmonary artery pressure by the patient at home. ImPressure devices were placed in the pulmonary artery, and transmitted pressure readings to a hand-held monitor.  It was hoped that the

 
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Elema-Schoenander and the Very First Human Implants of a Pacemaker in Sweden (1958) and Uruguay (1960)

This is a picture of the first pacemaker to be implanted in a human patient.  It was developed by Dr. Rune Elmqvist (1906–1996), a physician by training, but working for the Swedish company Elema-Schonander as an engineer.   Dr. Elmqvist  developed the device in cooperation of Åke Senning, senior physician and cardiac surgeon at the Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Sweden.

 
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Neuromed’s TIME Battery- and RF-Powered Totally Implantable Multichannel Spinal Cord Stimulator (ca. 1988)

Neuromed was formed in 1980 with an initial capitalization of $150,000 by Bill Borkan through money obtained when Borkan`s parents took out a second mortgage on their home. Borkan’s desire to help his sister, Jennie, a cerebral palsy patient, got him started in neurostimulation technology. In the next few years, Neuromed developed and marketed a

 
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Intermedics’ First Pacemakers (Mid 1970s)

In 1973, former Medtronic sales representative Albert Beutel founded Intermedics in Freeport, TX.  The first product was a small, mercury-cell-powered pacemaker.  In 1974 Intermedics introduced a lithium-powered version, and in 1976 it introduced InterLith which was hermetically sealed, and weighed just 65 grams.  At the time, InterLith’s size was a breakthrough, and became a very popular device, solidifying Intermedics’ position in the industry.  

 
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Original Datasheet for Arco’s Nuclear Pacemakers (ca. 1974)

Some time ago, my friend and colleague Paul Spehr gave me a copy of Arco Medical’s product catalog.  I scanned the original datasheets for Arco Medical’s nuclear fixed-rate and demand pacemakers models NU-5 and NU-6 and posted them here in pdf format: Arco_Nuclear_Datasheets Click here for a color picture and more information on Arco Medical’s nuclear pacemakers.

 
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American Optical Cardio-Care II Demand Pacemaker (ca. 1971)

  The Cardio Care II Pacemaker was American Optical’s second implantable device.  It was an improved version of the Cardio Care pacemaker.  Besides improvements to the circuitry, the circuit board was enclosed separately inside a hermetic can within the epoxy encapsulation.

 
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American Optical Cardio-Care Demand Pacemaker (1968)

Barouh Berkovits at American Optical Co of Boston, MA designed the first “Demand Pacemaker” – what we now know as a VVI pacemaker. The Cardio-Care Demand Pacemaker, introduced in 1968, was American Optical’s first implantable device. From Kirk Jeffrey’s Machines in our Hearts(2001): “Berkovits in 1963 designed a sensing capability into the pacemaker. His invention behaved exactly like an

 
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A Challenge to History Buffs: Who Was Digikon?

I took this picture a very long time ago at the office of one of my implanter friends in Europe.  Ever since then, I’ve tried to find out about “Digikon,” but have had no luck so far.  All that I have been able to find from the St. Jude legacy device database is that Digikon had produced

 
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Cook Pacemaker’s Sensor Kelvin 504 Central-Venous-Temperature-Sensing Pacemaker (ca. 1992)

In 1983, Bill Cook and Dr. Neal Fearnot began to work under the Cook Pacemaker Company in Leechburg, PA on developing the technology developed by Dr. Fearnot at Purdue University into an improved prototype for a temperature-based exercise responsive pacemaker that was released in 1988 as the Kelvin Sensor rate-responsive pacemaker.  One of the first CVT

 
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Intermedics’ Circadia Central Venous Temperature-Sensing Pacemaker (ca. 1993)

The Circadia pacemaker was one of the very few devices that had a lead-borne thermistor to measure cental venous temperature (CVT) as a sensor for rate-response. A unique feature of this pacemaker was an iridium-oxide (IrOx)-coated button welded to the can.  It was believed that this button would improve unipolar IEGM sensing and reduce unipolar

 
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Cook’s Sensor Kelvin and Intermedics’ Circadia Temperature-Sensing Rate-Responsive Pacemakers

  One of the indicators of metabolic demand that has been used for controlling the rate of pacemakers is central venous blood temperature (CVT). In 1983, Bill Cook and Dr. Neal Fearnot began to work under the Cook Pacemaker Company on developing the technology developed by Dr. Fearnot at Purdue University into an improved prototype for

 
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