Medtronic Shrinks Pacemakers With Micra, Enlarging Profits

Medtronic spent copious amounts of development time figuring out how to effectively reduce the size of pacemakers. The company was well-aware of how lucrative it would be to produce a catheter-ready version of the device. Now, furnished with its compact Micra pacemaker, Medtronic is enjoying a steady pump of revenue. Chief Executive Officer Geoff Martha cited Medtronic as a $400-million annual earner in May.

The long-range strategy paid off exponentially after the company defied odds to construct a one-tenth-sized, seven-year-ready pacemaker. Solving known issues of battery power and energy consumption, Medtronic’s miniature, wire-free, and catheterizable version quickly caught the eye of cardiologists and the medical device industry. Medtronic’s leadership equated the achievement with taking a car on a long-distance trip with its gas tank reduced in size ten times. Newer versions of Micra are even able to raise longevity expectations to 12 years.

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The FDA gave Micra the green light in 2016, and last year approved the Micra AV, which utilizes extra internal atrial sensing algorithms to handle dual-chamber pacing systems and their associated therapies.