“Set it and Forget it!” No, we’re not talking about the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie. We are talking about David Hatherall’s research on battery free pacemakers.
A heart pacemaker that does not need a battery is being developed under a government-sponsored technology scheme.
Currently, some patients who have implanted pacemakers and electronic defibrillators need surgery once every seven to 10 years to fit a new battery.
The new device would use a microgenerator producing electricity every time the patient moves.
The cost of the £1m project is being shared by the Department of Trade and Industry and private companies.
David Hatherall, from Zarlink Semiconductor, which is developing the device, described the technology as “groundbreaking”.
“The ability to fit and forget implantable devices in terms of their power supply will have significant clinical and quality of life benefits,” he said.
He predicted that new devices to tackle other illnesses could emerge as scientists are freed from the restrictions imposed by the size and lifespan of the batteries they currently need.