The subcutaneous ICD

The concept of applying high voltage to shock a heart out of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation has been known to be effective long before modern implantable cardiovert defibrillators (ICDs) were invented several decades ago. Over the last ten years, the ICD components, such as the wires that go through the large veins and into the heart, have broken, resulting in recalls by the FDA, lawsuits, and deaths. The national press has caused many patients and doctors to opt out of having an ICD implanted.

To address those design flaws, Cameron health developed an ICD with electrode wires that tunnel under the skin, but not inside the heart. Now owned by Boston Scientific, the FDA approved the S-ICD device in 2012.

We interviewed the director of electrophysiology labs at UCLA, Noel Boyle, MD, to learn more about the launch of the product and gauge the level of interest amongst doctors.

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