The Rise in Active Implantable Medical Devices
Active implantable medical devices (AIMDs) offer several benefits compared to other forms of medical treatment. These devices are surgically implanted in the patient's body and are designed to monitor, support, and sometimes replace physiological functions. Here are some key advantages of AIMDs:
AIMDs are highly specific and can directly target the affected area or function within the body. This allows for precise treatment and minimizes the impact on healthy tissues. This is unlike pharmacological treatments, which affect the whole body through the patient’s bloodstream and often have serious side effects.
Continuous and Real-Time Monitoring
Many AIMDs provide continuous monitoring and real-time data, typically virtually, allowing healthcare professionals to make informed decisions and adjust treatment as needed, at times without even needing to see the patient in person.
Improved Quality of Life
AIMDs can significantly enhance the quality of life for patients with chronic conditions. For example, pacemakers can regulate heart rhythms, while cochlear implants can restore hearing.
Reduced Medication Dependency
In some cases, AIMDs can reduce the need for medication, which can lead to fewer side effects and better patient compliance.
Many AIMDs are designed to last for several years, reducing the need for frequent interventions or replacements, if any.
AIMDs can often be customized to suit individual patient needs, providing personalized treatment options. This is becoming increasingly important as research highlights the differences in how each of us respond to treatments.
Minimized Invasive Procedures
In some cases, AIMDs can reduce the need for invasive surgeries or other high-risk procedures. Rechargeable AIMDs reduce this need even more as they eliminate the need for battery replacement surgeries.
AIMDs such as prosthetic limbs or deep brain stimulators can help patients regain mobility and function, improving their overall independence.
Better Disease Management
AIMDs can help manage chronic conditions more effectively, leading to better disease control and prevention of complications. An example of this is treatment resistant depression, which occurs in as many as 60% of patients who take antidepressants and is when antidepressants don’t work for the patient as desired or expected.
Some AIMDs, such as implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), can deliver life-saving interventions in emergencies.
While AIMDs offer many advantages, they also come with risks and limitations. Treatment decisions should be made in consultation with medical professionals. The risks of active implantable medical devices are often greater in non-rechargeable devices.
For a comparison of the pros and cons of rechargeable implantable medical devices, check out this blog.