To enhance the lives of patients worldwide
by being our customers’ partner of choice
for innovative medical technologies and services.
The story of Integer is one filled with 70 years of industry-changing innovations and exemplary manufacturing. It’s a legacy we are proud to uphold as we continue to provide customers with unparalleled expertise, innovation and manufacturing excellence.
Integer consists of two medical brands – Greatbatch Medical™ and Lake Region Medical™ – and our non-medical batteries for high-end niche applications in energy, military and the environment through our subsidiary Electrochem Solutions. Our story begins with several critical medical device innovations developed by our founders in the last century and continues today with a company that is committed to creating new solutions for the future of patient healthcare.
Passion and Curiosity
Beginnings often take a circuitous route. Our roadmap starts with four inventive and forward-thinking men whose actions would, in different ways, impact the monitoring of heart functions and lay the foundation for the company we know today as Integer.
- Joseph Fleischhacker Sr. pooled resources with two fishing buddies, also engineers, in 1947 to start Lake Region Manufacturing. It began as a side business making fishing lures and tackle in a renovated chicken coop behind Fleischhacker’s family home in Minnetonka, Minnesota. In 1960, Earl Bakken, founder of Medtronic, needed help to design and manufacture small-diameter wire coils – wire coils that would connect the first implantable pacemakers to a patient’s heart. Lake Region partnered with Medtronic to develop the first pacing lead coil. This venture into medical device manufacturing would eventually lead to the first finished coronary guidewire in 1978 and future guidewire advances. In 2007, the company would re-brand as Lake Region Medical™.
- Wilson Greatbatch was building a heart rhythm recorder in 1956, when he mistakenly fitted the device with a lower powered resistor. The recorder began emitting electronic pulses instead of recording the heartbeat, which sparked an idea for a fully embedded device to regulate the heart’s rhythm. For the next two years, the electrical engineering professor worked in a workshop behind his home in Clarence, New York, to perfect his design. His invention, the Chardack-Greatbatch pacemaker, was successfully implanted in a patient in 1960 using a completely internalized battery power source. And in 1962, he was awarded a patent for the device. Greatbatch made further improvements in 1972 by introducing the first lithium iodine battery to power pacemakers, extending the lifespan of the pacemaker up to eight years. In 1987, the first defibrillator using Greatbatch’s lithium SVO ICD battery was implanted, an enabling technology that continues to be the standard for defibrillators today. Other inventions would follow. Through acquisitions, including the 2014 purchase of CCC and the 2015 acquisition of Lake Region Medical, Greatbatch, Inc. would continue to grow.
- Dr. Orestes Fiandra began as a cardiologist intern in Sweden in 1954 and was part of the surgical team that implanted the world’s first externally powered pacemaker designed by medical pioneer Dr. Rune Elmqvist. In 1960, Dr. Fiandra, with surgeon Dr. Roberto Rubio, successfully implanted the Elmqvist device in a patient in Uruguay to become the first successful long-term pacemaker implant and the first in the Americas. In 1969, Dr. Fiandra would form Centro de Construccion de Cardioestimuladores de Uruguay (CCC), specializing in the design and development of medical devices.
- Albert Manwaring founded Uniform Tubes in 1940 to make metal tubing for shielded communications cable. In 1968, the company began manufacturing blood oxygenator tubes for research, and in the late ‘90s, multiple acquisitions would expand its reach into cardiac rhythm and orthopedic markets. The then UTI Corporation would acquire Medsource Technologies in 2004, and merge under the name Accellent, Inc. This solidified the company’s leadership in the cardiology, orthopedic and endovascular markets. In 2014, Accellent would acquire Lake Region Medical and assume the more well-known Lake Region Medical name.
Innovation and curiosity are still important drivers as we engineer the next generation of technology solutions. That, along with our passion for quality and manufacturing excellence, define who we are today and will continue to be into the future.