Wireless pacemaker is 'world's first'

Wireless pacemaker is 'world's first'
Cambridge Consultants has unveiled what it claims to be the world's first wireless pacemaker.

The Wireless Cardiac Stimulation system (WiCS), developed in collaboration with start-up firm EBR Systems, relies on a leadless electrode to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, which is used to pace the heart.

According to Andrew Diston, head of global medical technology at Cambridge Consultants, the device dramatically reduces surgical time and the chances of infection. He believes it has the potential to deliver superior cardiac pacing therapy for the 2.2million advanced heart failure patients worldwide.

WiCS works by leveraging advances in energy harvesting microelectronics. A small leadless electrode is implanted in the desired location within the left side of the heart, which works in conjunction with a conventional pacemaker/defibrillator, sensing the electrical pacing pulse of the pacemaker from the right ventricle.

The pulse generator then transmits an ultrasonic pulse to the implanted receiver, which converts the sonic energy into electrical energy to pace the left ventricle in synchronicity with the right.

Diston claims it not only reduces the need for the difficult and complicated surgery associated with traditional pacemakers, but by pacing inside the left ventricle it also better mimics the natural activation and mechanical contraction pattern of the heart.

Allan Will, ceo of EBR Systems, commented: "The WiCS system represents a huge breakthrough in pacemaker technology, not only in how we treat chronic heart failure patients today, but in eliminating leads and enabling site selected pacing locations in the heart.

"Many of the complications and reliability failures of pacemaker systems are attributed to leads. By eliminating leads, we can address the problems which come with them, and advance cardiac pacing therapy for all patients."

Diston concluded: "We are pleased to be able to contribute to such an important breakthrough in medical technology. We have a long history of championing cutting edge technology, and enabling start-ups to bring their groundbreaking concepts to market. We look forward to following this potentially lifesaving technology as it revolutionises the market."

Author
Laura Hopperton

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