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Inventor Of First Implantable Pacemaker Dies At 92

Wilson Greatbatch the inventor of the first implantable pacemaker has died at the age of 92.

Wilson Greatbatch the inventor of the first implantable pacemaker has died at the age of 92. A pacemaker used in 2007 is shown above.

Having helped many thousands of people by his inventions, the most famous of which is his implantable pacemaker, Wilson Greatbatch will long be remembered for his work – the inventor passed away on Tuesday in Buffalo, New York where he was born in September 1919.

It was 1960 when the first cardiac pacemaker was successfully implanted in a human, and this person went on to live another year and a half thanks to the device. The pacemaker controls the heart’s rhythm by using electrical impulses, and there are many different kinds of pacemakers, but basically they all work to treat bradycardia, or in other words a heart rate which is too slow. Some of the devices work all the time, while others only become active during exercise, or if the length of time between heart beats becomes too long.

In the United States alone, there were well over $1 billion of sales of pacemakers last year, and although technology has changed, the very idea of implanting such a device inside a person is still amazing to many. The types of batteries used in such devices have changed over the years, using mercury batteries for the very first implanted pacemakers, and then during 1970 to 1972, the lithium battery was developed for use in pacemakers by Greatbatch and his team.

Greatbatch was a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and reportedly had over three hundred patents to his name. He was married and had five children.

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