Changes to programming in pacemakers and defibrillators could significantly cut down on inappropriate shocking and reduce mortality risks for patients, according to a Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) study.
The medical device giant found that modified programming could reduce unnecessary shocks by more than 75% for patients with dual-chamber implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-D).
In some cases the updated pacing algorithms also cut patient mortality risk in half compared to conventional programming, according to a company statement.
Boston Scientific isn’t the only device maker taking a look at its pacing algorithms. Earlier this year cardiac rhythm management rival St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) won a pair of FDA clearances CRM devices, the Ellipse ICD and Assura CRM line, which were designed to prevent unneeded shocks.
Oregon-based Biotronik in May won FDA clearance for its next-generation Lumax 740 implantable heart devices, which feature Smart Detection technology that also aims to reduce inappropriate therapy.
That same month medical device monolith Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) unveiled results from a study demonstrating that delaying ICD shock therapy, effectively giving the device more time to diagnose an abnormal heart rhythm, can help reduce unnecessary shocks without increased risk to patients.
The duration-delay therapy arm of Boston Scientific’s newly unveiled study similarly found benefits for patients, including a 76% reduction in unnecessary shocking and a 44% reduction in risk of mortality, which was not considered statistically significant.
A 2nd high-rate therapy arm of the study fared a bit better, showing a 79% reduction in unnecessary shocking and a 50% reduction in mortality risk, according to a study press release.
The study results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and unveiled at the American Heart Assn. Scientific Sessions in Los Angeles this week, came from Boston Scientific’s MADIT-RIT trial, which included 1,500 ICD and CRT-D patients at 98 centers in 15 countries.