Continuous Improvements in Implantable Devices Technology Engender Constant Evolution of Cardiac Rhythm Management Devices Batteries

Early interventions in patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest or heart failure have been possible with the help of various cardiac rhythm management (CRM) devices. Devices such as cardiac resynchronization therapy devices (CRT-Ds), including implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), and pacemakers have been immensely useful in slowing the progression of heart failures. The adoption of these devices has significantly reduced the hospitalization on account of heart failures. 

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How do technological advances in ICD lead to promising opportunities for CRM devices batteries? 

Ceaseless improvements, dotted by incremental as well as some game-changing advances in CRM devices technology mainly relate to several developments in cardioverter defibrillators and pacemaker technologies. This includes the development of high-rate batteries that intermittently power these medical devices. Technological advancements and upgrades have enabled CRM device manufacturers to offer an elongated battery shelf-life, equip them with advanced wireless remote monitoring capabilities, and increase their ventricular pacing options. This has led to fewer complications with CRM devices implantation, enhanced the efficacy of CRM therapies, and transformed patient care.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators are preferred in patients that are markedly at high risk for sudden cardiac arrest caused due to sustained ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. Generally, ICDs are incorporated into cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator devices that can resynchronize the contractions of both ventricles of the heart. 

What are the technological improvements in battery technology of CRM devices?

Over the past five decades, the implantable cardioverter defibrillators technology has seen many developments focussed on improving battery shelf-life and ensuring a more seamless remote monitoring of patient data. The introduction of automatic external defibrillators and wearable defibrillators that are markedly more compact and easy to store have boosted the adoption of ICD devices. 

Additionally, significant improvements in the battery technology such as the optimization of the active cathode materials and the introduction of SVO nanomaterials possessing high cell potential of discharge, has help improve the functioning of CRM devices. For efficient functioning, ICD devices need to be continuously powered by high current pulses to manage well the heart monitoring functions throughout the lifetime of the patient. 

Factors preventing adoption of these devices are systemic infections and the failure of the intravascular lead. In such cases, the extraction of lead may involve significant expenses and additional complications. Recent technological advancements have sought to address these limitations. 

Leadless Pacemaker Predicted to Be Next Novel Solution 

Despite several improvements in lead design, the recurrence of lead failures has led to several complications in the use of ICDs. To address the problem leadless pacemaker, yet to become mainstream as a pacemaker technology, have been developed. Considered as the first generation CRM devices, they are constrained by the fact that they can only provide right ventricular pacing. Furthermore lack of left ventricular pacing and absence of remote monitoring feature are some of the key challenges faced by the manufactures which limits the role of these devices in peacemaking therapies at present.


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