It’s been a rough month for Medtronic's implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) business. The medical device industry giant has been squirming in the hot seat after issuing a safety warning to physicians on March 6 notifying them of a small risk of premature battery depletion in certain models of the company’s EnTrust and Escudo lines of ICDs. And as patient panic probably mounts, the industry awaits any word or evaluation of the warning from FDA, and lawyers likely prep for battle, the power-related defect underscores the potential market for emerging energy harvesting technologies for cardiac rhythm-management devices.
Unfortunately for Medtronic, the batteries in their implantable cardioverter-defibrillators are not up to par. Recent panic over the shorter than expected lifespan of their batteries have made physicians more cautious of their patients and Medtronic wary of any impending lawsuits. However, research in developing efficient and durable batteries for implantable devices is a very hot topic. It will just be a matter of time to harness some of these discoveries into a more optimal battery for these implantable devices.