Now There’s A Mini Pacemaker… What’s Next?


I read the story, I processed it intellectually, yet still found it hard to believe. Already in use, a miniature, self-contained wireless device, the approximate size of a quarter, that does all the work of a standard pacemaker. It is inserted into the heart without surgery!

In one recent case detailed in the media, the “Nanostim” was routed into the patient’s right ventricle using a catheter inserted in the femoral vein of the leg. The procedure took 20 minutes. The patient went home the next day and was back to work in a couple of days. After a bit of time, scar tissue grows on the implant and seals it.

The Nanostim insert is currently for patients who require a single chamber pacing, or some 20 to 30 percent of patients who require a pacemaker. The average age of patients receiving the device in Europe, where it has been in use for a period of time, is 77.

There are other new, miniaturized medical devices, including pill cameras and a “bionic eye,” already functioning in the United States.

Many others are on the drawing board to continue the trend where small size will make a difference.

For the record, more than 4 million patients around the world have pacemakers, and some 700,000 receive a new one annually.