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Pacing the Heart:Impact of Pacemakers on the Society The BioBusiness Revolution: Healthcare and the Biomedical Sciences: Past, Present, Future Teo Te Wei G13
Background In the past, no cure for immediate heart stoppage Heart Failure Mortality rate was high
How to solve this problem? To create a prosthetic device that would permanently manage a heart in complete block Pacemaker
What is Pacemaker? Device that consists of a pulse generator, electrodes and a lead Pacemaker Pulse Generator Lead Electrodes
What is Pacemaker? Delivers electrical impulses to the heart so as to regulate the heartbeat
Timeline Stabilized Pacing Qualified as a major surgery External Pacing Externally Programm-able Pacer 500,000-600,000 users 1950s 1960s 1970s 1975 1990s Internal Pacing – Implant Users exceed 150,000 110,000 annual implants
Advantages Kept patients alive in complete heart block Enabled many of them to enjoy moderately active lives The doctor could noninvasively and repeatedly alter pacing device
Drawbacks Battery of the internal pacemaker may run low Require further surgical procedures
Key Takeaway Points Pacemaker brought about a lot of advantages in the medical history and saved a lot of lives Pacemaker was constantly refined to suit to new heart diseases Prolonged mortality rate
Rating 5/5 Displayed the evolution of heart pacing and the impact on the lives of people Covered both advantages and drawbacks of the pacemakers
Issues for Discussion Do you think that the battery of the pacemaker will be able to operate indefinitely in the future? Will mankind be over-reliant on technology and implanting a pacemaker even when not required or as a preventive measure of heart attacks?
The END ‘The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart’ - Helen Keller
References Pacing the Heart: Growth and Redefinition of a Medical Technology, 1952-1975, Kirk Jeffrey, Technology and Culture, Vol. 36, No. 3 (Jul 1995), pp. 583-624