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Leadless pacemaker to bring down problems of heart patients

health-and-fitness Updated: Mar 17, 2011 21:34 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar
Hindustan Times
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Fighting the increasing disease burden vis-à-vis cardiac diseases coupled with difficulty in providing access to quality specialty medical care, leadless pacemaker can prove to be a boon for India.

Although costly affair, use of pacemakers has been quite common in India but the size of the device and positioning of the leads has been a constant source of concern for users.

Medtronic Inc, a US-headquartered medical equipment manufacturing company, has come up with a leadless pacemaker. The prototype was unveiled in the US in 2010. It is likely to hit the market in 2014.

Leadless pacemaker - roughly the size of a capsule - is delivered into the patient's right ventricle through a catheter. It then attaches itself to the surrounding tissue.

The size is way smaller than the currently used pacemakers with leads, something that will alter patients' living habits.

Said Dr David Steinhaus, company's vice president (strategic affairs), "This has a very tiny IC unit. It has a smaller battery yet with a life of 7-8 years and it uses the RF mechanism to transmit data to a monitoring unit."

Observing that there are just 70 specially trained physicians-surgeons that can carry out pacemaker implants in India today, Shamit Dasgupta, director, (cardiac rhythm disease management, south Asia and ASEAN), said, "With the advent of leadless pacemaker, any intervention cardiologist in India can insert it."

Miniaturisation of technology as in case of leadless pacemaker should allow practicing less invasive and simple procedures, the company believes.

However, at the inauguration of company's Singapore manufacturing facility for pacemakers and leads last week, all that Jean-Luc Butel, executive vice president and group president, international, Medtronic, said was: "It is in the making. We cannot divulge when it would hit the market."

None of the officials were ready to put a figure on the cost of this device.