A minuscule camera begins its trek through the gastrointestinal tract, directly visualizing the tissue with advanced optics and producing clear images that help physicians detect abnormalities. If these images reveal anything out of the ordinary, such as a polyp or tumor, clinicians can consider developing a treatment plan. This once sounded like science fiction, but today miniaturized health tech is transforming the delivery of care and creating better experiences for patients and doctors.
When Medtronic co-founder Earl Bakken developed the first battery-powered pacemaker in the late 1950s, the revolutionary technology was about the size of a small paperback book. Today, some Medtronic pacemakers are as small as a multivitamin and can be delivered directly into the heart via transcatheter.
Unlike a conventional device, these leadless pacemakers do not create a scar or bump under the skin. By shrinking the size of our healthcare technology, we can help patients live without a constant reminder of their medical condition.
Today, our smallest pacemaker is about 93% smaller than conventional ones. And advancements in miniaturization technology have also helped shrink the size of our implantable cardiac monitors to one-third the size of a AAA battery. Recently approved for patients over 2 years old, our tiny wireless monitors are now helping pediatric patients with heart abnormalities. And when our miniaturized health tech is paired with remote monitoring technologies, patients can often be assessed from the comfort of their own home. By creating flexible healthcare solutions, we are thinking big by going small.
–Sean Salmon, Executive Vice President and President, Cardiovascular Portfolio, Medtronic