What’s the next big disruption in battery technology? Three experts from Integer, a global leader in medical device outsourcing, weigh in.
Martin Cholette, Robert Rubino and Chris Williams, Integer
What new technologies in medtech are being enabled by advances in battery technology?
Chris Williams: One new technology is the leadless cardiac pacing market. Integer has developed batteries in a cylindrical form that allows for implants through the femoral vein in a minimally invasive procedure. Applications for energy storage continue to miniaturize, driving demand for increases in energy density and also novel form factors. This will continue to fuel the implanted sensor/recorder markets as well as less invasive therapeutic devices.
Rob Rubino: One potential area for big advances is in cochlear implants. Currently, the implant is behind the ear and patients remove them when sleeping, showering and swimming. If there is a fire or emergency, they may not hear it because they took off the implant. In the future, the battery (and implant) could be inside the head, eliminating outside paraphernalia.
Martin Cholette: Still in its infancy but in a phase of accelerated development are minimally invasive diagnostics and technologies that monitor physiologic activity and vital signs. These technologies offer information to physicians and patients that lead to more effective management of diseases. What comes to mind is implantable cardiac monitors; used instead of cumbersome Holter monitors with limited observation periods, these small devices are implanted under the skin in a simple procedure to provide continuous monitoring of cardiac activity and enable a level of diagnostic and arrhythmia management.