Wireless pacemakers could make life easier for heart patients

In Science

With pacemaker maintenance operations often causing
complications like bleeding and infection, this breakthrough
could help to make an already difficult condition a bit more
manageable. As well as reducing the need for surgery, this
externally-powered pacemaker would allow doctors to easily
adjust the pacing of the signals sent to the device. This
would, of course, be done by increasing or decreasing the
amount of power sent to the receiver. Cleverly, the device will
also store any excess energy, keeping the extra power as a
reserve once it hits its pre-defined threshold.

While this certainly isn’t the
first attempt at modernizing the pacemaker
, the creators
state that without a battery or leads cluttering up the form
factor, patients will reap the benefits. Thanks to their small
size, these new wirelessly powered microchips can be inserted
into multiple places either inside or outside the heart,
allowing them both to keep an identical pace. This could help
patients whose heart problems are more severe, giving their
ticker an extra helping hand.

So far, their experiments have been pretty successful. Testing
the pacemaker on a pig, the device managed to boost its heart
rate from 100 bpm to an impressing 175 bpm. With the pacemaker
being introduced at a medical event running in Honolulu this
week, let’s hope that the medical community helps to fully test
and approve this potentially impressive device.

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