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 asynchronous pacer until it detected a naturally occurring R wave, the indication of a ventricular contraction. This event would reset the timing circuit of the pacemaker, and the countdown to the next stimulus would begin anew. Thus the pacer stimulated the heart only when the ventricles failed to contract. It worked only ‘‘on demand.’’ As an added benefit, noncompetitive pacing extended the life of the battery. Continue reading