Things are still pretty quiet on opening day of Heart Rhythm 2014, the Heart Rhythm Society’s 35th Annual Scientific Sessions in semi-sunny San Francisco, but the week is shaping up to be a busy one.
There are few major announcements expected from this year’s sessions, but attendees are looking forward to some important updates on key new technologies and trends in cardiac pacing and electrophysiology, coming from the biggest players in the market.
Here are some of the things that MassDevice.com is keeping an eye out for this year:
Medtronic’s tiny cardiac monitor
The Reveal monitor uses the Carelink network to allow physicians to monitor patients from afar. The device is "80% smaller than other ICMs" with a profile about one-third the size of an AAA battery.
The team has also been active on Twitter as it set up its massive booth and hosted a series of courses, sessions and events.
Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) and St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) are vying to tout their lead-free implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and both are revealing new clinical data to support their devices.
Boston Scientific is hosting a pair of talks about its S-ICD device, including 22-month data from its an IDE trial ("Outcomes in Patients Receiving a Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (S-ICD): IDE Trial Results at 22 Months," 5/8, 1:30 p.m. in Room 2018, Moscone West) and a poster session about complications associated with implants ("Complications Associated with the Totally Subcutaneous Implantable Defibrillator: Overview of results from a pooled analysis of 882 S-ICD System patients from the IDE Study and EFFORTLESS Registry in this poster presentation," 5/7, P001-53 at 6:00 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall).
St. Jude’s Nanostim is among this year’s late-breaking clinical trial sessions, with new data on a 1-year follow-up from the company’s LEADLESS trial ("Chronic Performance of Leadless Cardiac Pacing: One Year Follow-up to the LEADLESS Trial," 5/9 at 8 a.m., Room 305, Moscone South).
St. Jude updates on problem leads
St. Jude Medical is also the subject of a series of sessions about its defibrillator leads, which were the subject of a major flap in 2012 after the Heart Rhythm Society published a study attributing 22 deaths to short circuits in St. Jude’s Riata defibrillator leads.
The company spent some time at last year’s conference touting independent safety data for its next-generation Durata leads and calming speculation about its recalled recalled QuickSite and QuickFlex cardiac rhythm therapy leads.
This year’s HRS roster features sessions defending Durata ("Absence of Externalized Conductors and Electrical Dysfunction in Systematically Imaged Durata ICD Leads," 5/10 at 9:30 a.m. in the Exhibit Hall), discussing problems with the Riata and Riata ST leads ("Incidence of New Externalized Conductors and Electrical Dysfunction in Riata and Riata ST Silicone ICD Leads," 5/08 at 1:45 p.m. in Rm 2010, Moscone West) and exploring potential failures in leads coated with Optim, an insulation material that St. Jude has touted as more durable than the coating on its troubled Riata leads ("Optim ICD Lead Failures: Long-term Rates from Independent Analysis of 11,016 Leads in 3 Prospective Registries," Poster session PO05-52; 5/9 at 3:30 p.m.)
HRS talks cybersecurity
Concerns about the digital vulnerabilities of medical devices have made their way to HRS, with a single session dedicated to exploring cybersecurity ("Are Devices Secure Against Internet Hackers: Cybersecurity? Perspectives from: AAMI/Industry," 5/8 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 206, Moscone North).
The battle for battery life
Another year brings another battle over device longevity. Boston Scientific won the battle last year, touting longer battery life with its cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators compared to rival devices from Medtronic. A new independent study coming out this week will again pit rival devices against one another ("Device Longevity in Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators Differs Between Manufacturers," 5/8 at 9:30 a.m. in the Exhibit Hall).