Medical Devices & Technology

Medical Devices & Technology Articles

New devices compensate for foot drop

When stroke causes a person to have trouble lifting or moving a foot (foot drop), two new devices can help. Both stimulate the peroneal nerve so the weak foot lifts, rather than drags. One model reacts when the angle of the leg is changed, the other when the heel is raised in preparation for taking a step. Both are painless and can be worn all day. (Locked) More »

A pacemaker to prevent fainting

For people who faint because their heart rates suddenly plummet (a condition called cardioinhibitory syncope), a dual-chamber pacemaker has been shown to reduce fainting episodes by 57%. (Locked) More »

The promise of a total artificial heart

  A growing number of people with failing hearts are being given total artificial hearts as they wait for donor hearts to become available. To implant one of these, surgeons remove the recipient's heart and replace it with a mechanical one. Its portable driver allows the wearer to move about freely, without being tethered to a stationary pump. The total artificial heart beats 140 times a minute, restoring normal blood pressure and allowing organs to recover. By the time a donor heart is found, total artificial heart recipients are healthier and better able to withstand transplant surgery.   (Locked) More »

An Aingeal to watch over you

For people in the hospital, a miniature sensor attached to the torso can transmit vital information about the heart and breathing to doctors and nurses in the hospital. (Locked) More »

When an implantable defibrillator fails

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators can stop a potentially deadly heart rhythm and restore a healthy one. Repeated bending and flexing can cause their leads to fail. Replacement or removal is an option. (Locked) More »

MRI and pacemakers: A risky mix

Unless you have an MRI-friendly pacemaker, a CT scan may be safer. In multiple studies, the powerful magnets in MRI units have caused pacemakers to change their settings and the leads in both types of devices to become superheated. Some deaths have occurred during inadvertent, unmonitored scanning of patients with pacemakers, although the exact reasons are unknown. Computed tomography (CT) is often recommended as an alternative imaging test. (Locked) More »

Robotics help stroke survivors walk again

For people with difficulty walking after a stroke, exoskeletons hold exciting promise. These robotic, computer-controlled devices provide physical support while helping move patients' legs back and forth. (Locked) More »