Cardiac pacemaker is an implantable heart device for patients with bradycardia or slow heartbeat. A pacemaker helps in restoring heart’s rhythm by transmitting tiny electrical signals to heart. A pacing systems actually involves two by products viz. pacemaker and leads. A pacemaker is a small device implanted under the skin, usually below collarbone on the left/right side of the chest. A pacemaker continuously monitors the heart and sends out small electrical signals that are undetectable to correct a slow heart rate if detected. Leads include soft insulated wires carrying the electrical impulse from pacemaker to the heart and relaying information on heart’s natural activity back to pacemaker.

Factors influencing the growth of global cardiac pacemaker market include

  • High occurrences of diseases in underdeveloped economies
  • Increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disorders among developed economies
  • Several supportive government initiatives
  • Non-government organizations funding
  • Advanced Diagnostics
  • Favorable reimbursement treatment scenario
  • Cost-effective steps by several governments

Focus on approaches of new device launches and reliable, fast and cost-effective development of diagnostic methods is likely to fuel the global cardiac pacemaker market. However, the global cardiac pacemaker market is anticipated to witness a declining -0.5% CAGR during 2016 to 2024 according to the report by Persistence Market Research (PMR).

Abbott’s FDA Approved Wireless Pacemaker

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) of U.S. approved Abbott’s tiny wireless pacemaker rendering it the longest-lasting and smallest MRI-compatible device. The new MRI-conditional labelling applies to pacing lead. With the acquisition of St. Jude Medical, Abbott picked up the Tendril MRI pacing lead and the Assurity MRI pacemaker. Abbott’s pacemaker enables physicians in monitoring the patients wirelessly reducing need for office visits. The new labelling denotes that patients implanted with these pacemakers, without fear of damaging the implant, may undergo diagnostic MRI scans.

At the time of MRI procedure, preprogrammed MRI implant settings are activated by a hand-held device. These settings, individualized to each patient, help in reducing the effort, inconvenience and time required for pre & postscan pacemaker reprogramming. This small wireless and long-lasting pacemaker, allowing patients to undergo MRI scans, is an instrumental step in growing forward the available patient treatment options.

Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute Investigators to Develop a Biological Pacemaker

Investigators from Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, with $3 million grant from National Institutes of Health, are close to developing a biological pacemaker capable of treating patients with slow heartbeats. The novel, minimally-invasive gene therapy transforms the patient’s normal heart cells to pacemaker cells to regulate heart function. These pacemakers are likely to replace electronic pacemakers in the future. Specialized pacemaker cells naturally found in the heart generate electrical activity spreading throughout the heart tracing an orderly pattern and creating rhythmic muscle contractions, i.e. heartbeats. If pacemaker cells go askew, the heartbeats slow down resulting into fainting or sudden death. However, patients incline towards electronic pacemaker rendering it as the only treatment option while undergoing surgery.

Biological Pacemaker Expected to be Tested in Patients in Next Five Years

Cingolani, a practicing cardiac electrophysiologist, has significant experience on heart rhythm devices & their limitations. With his team of investigators, he is working on delivering gene directly to patient’s heart at the time of minimally invasive catheter-based procedure. This gene would then transmute normal heart cells into pacemaker cells enabling the heart to beat steadily. Previous efforts of new pacemaker cells generation resulted into heart muscle cells capable of beating on their own. While, other approaches utilized embryonic stem cells for deriving pacemaker cells. However, the risks related to contamination of cancerous cells remains a persistent hurdle in realizing a therapeutic potential of embryonic stem cell-based approach. The team from Cedars-Sinai were capable of creating pacemaker cells closely resembling native cells, free from risk of cancer. If upcoming safety studies stand successful, Cingolani states that testing of biological pacemaker in patients could be possible in next five years.

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