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.
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.