I find it surprising that with decades of experience in implanting pacemakers, innovations still seem few and far between. I've blogged about some of the more recent innovations in this space leadless and self-powered pacemakers yet they're almost too little too late. More recently, I came across an interesting twist to improving cardiac rhythm management which focuses on innovations in the heart itself rather than the implantable device.
While many innovations focus on making the devices smaller, more durable and less invasive, a team of cardiologists from the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in L.A. takes on the problem from a different angle. They have identified a new gene that transforms heart cells into a biological pacemaker which eliminates the need for a pacemaker implantation. Unfortunately, like most of the more radical innovations in this space, this technique is still in the early stages of research. I can't help but speculate however, if this will introduce a new trend in the treatment options. This leads me to think does any innovation really mean good innovation. While many focus on increasing minimally invasive treatments, perhaps what we should really be focusing on is how to restore the natural functions of the body.