A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports of a tiny wireless pacemaker that could benefit heart patients by offering them an alternative to surgery. Unlike traditional pacemakers the new device is a tiny tube that is attached to the right side of the heart with the help of a catheter that is inserted through the leg. Traditional pacemakers are equipped with generator and wires that are implanted via surgery.
For the research, doctors from Australia, Canada and US implanted new pacemakers in more than 500 people. 7 percent of people involved in the experiment reported of complications in the heart after six months which is around 3 percent less than people who receive traditional pacemakers.
The pacemaker developed by St Jude Medical sits in the right ventricle unlike traditional pacemakers that connects the right and left sides of the heart. Experts believe the tiny pacemaker might work for 30 percent of patients. The pacemaker is approved for use in Europe and the new study will be submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration. The device lacks some functions such as tracking irregular heart rhythms which means that patients will have to visit hospital.