Posted on 05/2018
The next disruptive medtech innovation? Batteries, according to Integer’s experts.
Medtech Feature Story, Thought Leadership
What’s the next big thing that could disrupt battery technology? In preparing an article for MassDevice.com and its print publication Medical Design & Outsourcing, we asked three experts from cardiac rhythm management’s battery technology and research and development teams to weigh in with their thoughts. Offering a combined 50+ years’ experience in the medtech industry were Vice President, Research, Development & Engineering Martin Cholette; Director, Battery R&D Robert (Rob) Rubino; and Technical Account Director Chris Williams. As with all stories, sometimes there is not enough space to tell the whole story, yet we thought this question helped set-up where our expert’s fascination with batteries started.
What battery innovation over the last 20 years resonates with you and what innovations do you foresee in the near future?
Martin: I was 12-years-old when Barney Clark was implanted with the first permanent artificial heart. It fascinated me and made a lasting impact. Today, we have people living with LVAD (left ventricular assist device) that are powered by very complicated external power sources. This life enhancing technology could certainly be enhanced and quality of lives improved by moving the power source from outside of the body to inside. There is ongoing activity in that space and developments in battery technology and power sources are key in enabling this advancement.
Rob: For me, it was rechargeable batteries for implanted devices that aided devices needing more power. Without rechargeable batteries, devices like neurostimulators would either not exist today or would be huge and the batteries wouldn’t last long. The other big item was battery longevity. Today’s primary battery technology lasts longer and is more predictable versus in the past when they would last 3-5 years. Now, you can discharge them for 6 months or 10 years and get similar output.
Chris: The evolution of the battery’s format is it for me. Historical rectangular and prismatic geometries gave way to more physiological configurations (contemporary device shapes). Just recently, we started seeing the evolution to minimally invasive batteries, such as the cylindrical cells in today’s cardiac market that can be implanted through a catheter as opposed to a pocket incision and pectoral implant.
Read the full story online – Why new battery technology will lead to disruptive medtech innovations.