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.
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.
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.
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
Image Credit: Biotectix Biotectix of Ann Arbor, MI recently contacted me to let me know of new conductive polymer materials that they are developing to enhance the performance of next-gen implantable stimulation and sensing devices. Indeed, their materials sound very promising. According to Biotectix, their electrode coatings and device components are made from proprietary conducting polymers that provide
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
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
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
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
Medcor was established in Hollywood, FL in 1969, and began developing pacemakers, lead and accessories in 1971. By 1975 it had a series of lithium-powered pacemaker in the market, but they never became popular with physicians. On July 1980, Daig Corporation of Minnetonka, MN acquired Medcor with the expectation that Medcor pacemaker technology could be profitably marketed. Daig had
Medtronic announced at TEDMED 2010 that it is working on leadless pacemakers. Dr. Stephen Osterle, senior vice president of medicine and technology and member of Medtronic’s Executive Management Team, unveiled the device. Osterle said that physicians will be able to control the device with a smart phone.
EBR Systems, Inc., founded in 2003 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, is developing the WiCS® Wireless Cardiac Stimulation technology to eliminate cardiac pacing leads, historically a major source of complications and reliability issues. The startup was spun out of research by founder Debra Echt, a former professor of medicine and a cardiologist at Vanderbilt University.
Nanostim is an early-stage AIMD company in Milpitas, CA that is developing a pacemaker that can be implanted inside the heart through a catheter. The tiny device is attached directly to the heart, eliminating the need for leads. In May 2011 Nanostim announced that St. Jude Medical had made a substantial investment in the company. The company is operating in
Barouh Berkovits at American Optical Co of Boston, MA designed the first “Demand Pacemaker” – what we now know as a VVI pacemaker. As other companies in the 1970s, American Optical developed a nuclear-battery-powered version of their pacemaker. American Optical used a 3Ci Pu-238 Radioisotope Thermal Generator (RTG) produced by Fred Hittman’s Hittman Nuclear Development Corp. (Model NB-200). It consisted of a tiny 8 Ci
An isotopic thermoelectric generator was developed in the US by Numec Corporation under a contract from the US Atomic Energy Commission and sold for $3,200 (back in 1974). The thermopile consisted of doped bismuth telluride pairs that were placed in a parallel/series arrangement to generate some 300 μW of power to run this Arco Medical