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.