Picking Up the Pace

Today's pacemakers can adjust their electrical impulses as needed and even relay data to your doctor. Tomorrow's implants will be even smarter

When Medtronic (MDT) began selling the first internal pacemakers in 1960, the cardiac devices were little more than metronomes, discharging electrical pulses at a constant rate. These days, implanted electronic devices are interactive marvels that can adroitly adjust their output based on signals picked up from the patient's body. Some can even beam this information automatically to external monitors.

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