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ryanrohaley Find out more about ryanrohaley
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  • Newest ICD Tech

    Now that my ICD is almost 9 year old, my cardiologists at Hopkins are telling me that one of the parameters (the time it takes to charge itself to deliver therapy) is nearing it's threshold. While the battery still has some decent life in it, this will still warrant a replacement in the near future.

    My question/comment is: Certainly technology in the ICD marketplace has advanced in the last decade since I got mine. As a technology executive with a vested interest, I generally follow these developments. They now are considerably thinner, they have the ability to double the battery life, provide daily (wireless) remote monitoring, "lead-less models, and even models that are MRI safe! I'm wondering if the folks who have recently (or are about to) receive a new ICD have been given choices to select their device, and if so, are they getting the latest generation that take advantage of these new features? Any responses are appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Newest ICD Tech

    I just had a new spark plug installed and mine is the same manufacturer, but smaller, I now have nightly data dumps as opposed to 2-3 times a year before. The transmission is wireless and done while I sleep. Also - I think the technology is much better as they have better flexibility in the settings. I didn't get any options as far as choosing, but I did have it installed differently - Its not a sub pec, but they created a pocket within the muscle (think of those old give-away plastic coin purses). So I was sorer then the original install, but anytime you cut muscle, you will be sore.
    The wireless ones are recently approved but are much larger (think "walkman") and installed either on the side below the armpit, or in the stomach cavity (usually Kids). These have had some issues regarding inappropriate shocks - Significantly higher then the old wired ones (like less than 5% and S-ICD can be as high as 40%).
    My old one lasted 7 years with one event totaling 3 shocks. They told me the new one should be 9-11 years. I don't think the MRI-safe one are approved in the US, but I could be wrong.
    Marc
    Diagnosed @ 48
    Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
    Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
    AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
    After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
    Quietly going insane . . .

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    • #3
      Re: Newest ICD Tech

      I had mine put in in January this year. It's a St Jude device.... an "Elipse VR". Quite light (67g) and slim and contains some nice peices of tech. It can descriminate the various arrhythmias from one another - including programing of your own individual arrhythmia morpology, it can filter out lead noise to reduce inappropriate shocks and features a number of different configurations and parameters that include customised "monitor" and "therapy" zones, and has tachy/brady/fib therapies (just with a single lead) and I have the home monitoring kit set up by my bedside.

      It's not MRI safe unfortunately but I know these are now making their way on to the market.

      With regard to chosing your device, it is possible that your cardio might select an ICD model from a range that they prefer, and they may take specifics about a particular patient in to account when they make that selection, however I would guess that it is not usually given to the patient to make a choice between different ICDs. Cardiologists typically tend to have their own preferred devices (and leads - sometimes from different manufacturers to the actual ICD!) and that may be because one cardio prefers the features and/or monitoring technology and software that one ICD provides over another... or that they have found one manufacturer more reliable over time, than another. And my advice would always be to let the cardiologist make that choice without too much interference . I know that in my own hospital there are some cardiologists that prefer to use medtronic devices - and others that prefer working with St Jude ICDs. I guess they build up their own view of what they like and what has worked well for them.

      The last thing you want to do is to steer your doctor towards using a particular device they are not familiar or comfortable with. I'm not saying you were suggesting that, but am just making a general point about leaving this decision to your doctor, whilst ensuring they have an understanding of your needs and preferences. Things like leadless (S-ICDs) devices... well those really do depend on medical factors as well as patient preference. You may not be suitable or recommended for an S-ICD simply because there is a chance you may need back up pacing in the future - and currently S-ICDs are not able to pace. Only shock. So it is very dependant on your current and possible future requirements.
      Last edited by PeteFrench78; 05-22-2015, 03:26 AM. Reason: spelling

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      • #4
        Re: Newest ICD Tech

        Mbcube, you mentioned that the transmission is "wireless;" I presume you mean it is wireless from the device to the monitor (i.e. Merlin or similar device). I assume that the monitor still transmits to your doctor via a land line, correct? I am wondering if I will ever be able to get rid of my land line... I don't really need it for any other reason.
        Thanks,
        Susan
        Diagnosed at age 53 in April 2010 (after having been
        "cleared" several times)
        Into running & cycling - cleared to continue at mild to
        moderate level
        Extensive family history
        Lost my mom, aunt and nephew to SCD
        St. Judes "Fortify VR" ICD implanted 8/30/2010 "Ces't Watt"

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        • #5
          Re: Newest ICD Tech

          Susank, Boston Scientific now gives two alternatives to landline. You can get a cellular adapter and have it transmit the data wirelessly (literally, via the cellular network), but it costs $165/month for a one year plan or $200 something for 3 years. You can also get an Ethernet adapter, which is about $80 and have the device transmit data via the internet network.

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          • #6
            Re: Newest ICD Tech

            I had heard that Kaiser will provide a Cell phone (and free monthly service) plus the adapter for those without a landline. Frankly, while I'd love to dump my landline, I like that a 911 call is traced to my address - not so with cells. Also, My cell service is very "iffy" so I like the reliability of a landline.
            Marc
            Diagnosed @ 48
            Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
            Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
            AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
            After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
            Quietly going insane . . .

            Comment

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