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.
MicroCHIPS was founded in 1999 as an MIT spinoff to develop implantable sensors and drug-delivery devices. MicroCHIPS’ drug-delivery technology is based on proprietary reservoir arrays that are used to store potent drugs within the body for long periods of time. Individual device reservoirs can be opened on demand or on a predetermined schedule to precisely control
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
This is a hack that combines three of my favorite passions: pacemakers, photography, and coffee! I took this photograph by feeding the output of an infrared barrier to the atrium input of an old DDD pacemaker, setting an appropriate AV delay, and using the ventricular output to trigger a camera flash (via a optoisolator). In
In 2005, St. Jude Medical purchased Advanced Neuromodulation Systems (ANS) in Plano, Texas. ANS had developed a number of spinal cord stimulation IPGs that were either externally powered via inductive link, internally powered by a primary cell, or internally powered by a transcutaneously rechargeable lithium-ion cell. Today, the most popular St. Jude spinal cord stimulators are the rechargeable
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.
Image Credit: St. Jude Medical Today St. Jude announced that its first controlled study of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) confirms benefit of constant current system for patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Results were published online today by The Lancet Neurology journal. The aim of the study was to evaluate the Libra(TM) and LibraXP(TM) DBS constant current systems
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