Pacemaker A: Some backgrounds

Since my current research focus is on ultra-low power ADC design for medical implant devices, among which the pacemaker is a well-known implantable medical device, so I came up with such a question – What kind of ADC is really needed for pacemaker?

Before answering this question, it’s good to know some backgrounds of pacemaker.

As an “profits-driven” ordinary person, thinking of pacemaker, the first question came to my mind is not technical-related (:

1. How is the market of cardiac pacemaker?

From Medical New Today: “Cardiac Pacemakers Market To Reach $3.7 Billion By 2010, According To New Report By Global Industry Analysts, Inc.”

$3.7 billion, I’m not very sensitive to marketing figures. I will come back with further discussion after I turn to one of my friends who studies marketing for help.

We always hope that the products we’ve designed will possess a prosperous market, but who on the hell hopes that he/she will need a pacemaker to put into the body? Dilemma! However, there is one phenomenon that we can’t neglect – the aging global population, which ensures a steady growth of pacemaker market anyway.

I’m still not satisfied with the market of pacemaker, and I will investigate more about the medical implantable applications, some cool ones, which might be a fasion in the future!

2. When is the first implantable pacemaker developed?

In 1950s.

3. Who did the first implantation into a human? When and where?

Dr. Åke Senning, in 1958, in Sweden.

4. Who, from which company, made this pacemaker?

Rune Elmqvist, from Elema-Schonander (which eventually became part of St. Jude Medical).

Fig. 1 Body and pacemaker. The pacemaker itself is placed under the skin below the collarbone. Wires are placed through the blood vessel beneath the collarbone to the heart and are connected to the pacemaker. A dual chamber pacemaker is shown here that has wires to both the upper (atrium) and lower (ventricle) chambers of the right side of the heart. (Curtsey: American Heart Association)

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