Micra pacemaker

Micra® tops '2016 Biggest Achievements in Medicine’

The “world’s smallest pacemaker” earns recognition from US News & World Report.

In a year of exciting medical advances, US News & World Report calls “Micra” one of the biggest.

In January, the publication unveiled its “2016’s Biggest Achievements in Medicine” list and placed Micra, known as the world’s smallest pacemaker, at the top.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the device in April, making it the first pacemaker available for patients that does not require wired leads. An inch-long in size, Micra is implanted directly into the heart using a  minimally invasive procedure.

Micra pacemaker

The report states that Micra “has the potential to completely change the pacing industry.” Medtronic Chairman and CEO Omar Ishrak shared similar sentiments when he spoke to CNBC in June, calling Micra “a new birth of innovation through miniaturization.” 

Micra is the result of a decade-long effort at Medtronic called “deep miniaturization” — a goal to shrink medical devices by up to 90 percent.

"Dating back to the development of the first external battery operated pacemaker more than 60 years ago, Medtronic has a long history of collaborating with clinicians to better understand the needs of patients, and then innovating new products to meet those needs," said John Liddicoat, M.D., senior vice president, Medtronic, and president of the Cardiac Rhythm and Heart Failure division.

In the 1950s, Medtronic developed the first battery-powered external pacemaker.

The US News & World Report listed other achievements from around the industry, including a mechanical “eye” that helps those with blindness, mobile stroke units, and advancements in arm transplantations.