“There are a multitude of devices implanted, the most basic division is between defibrillators, pacemakers and monitors.”
Dr. Boris Bologmilov is a Cardiac Surgeron at Washington Regional Hospital. He says that implantable devices have come a long way since they hit the market in the 1980s.
“Twently years ago we had the first defibrillators and the size was significantly bigger.” Since then the devices have significantly shrunk in size and look to get even smaller in the future.
The new devices are wireless, allowing doctors to check on the status of the patient remotely “from pretty much anywhere in the world”.
“The paitent does not need to do anything.” Bologmilov says. “The moment the paitent goes to bed the device will check and if there is issues the monitoring center will be notified and they will notify us.”
As far as the future is concerned, the devices on the horizon are much smaller and will require implant more easily.
“If one looks at the pacemakers and defibrillators, the most likely hardware to break is actually the lead...” Boglomilov says. The lead is a wire that is placed inside the heart and sends an elecrtical impluse causeing the heart muscle to flex. “The heart squeezes every single day one hundred thousand times.” and every time the heart flexes so does the wire lead. Eventually this lead will break and must be replaced.
Dr. Bogolomilov says the newest generation of defibrillators are lead-less having no wires in the heart.
“The device is still fairly big and bulky, but it's going to decrease as technology rapidly advances, and that will probably be the future of defibrillators.”