What Are Implantable Medical Devices And Active Implantable Devices?

An implantable medical device is an implantable biomedical device placed in the human body during surgery or other clinical intervention to serve a specific function. The list of implantable medical devices most commonly used includes artificial joints, breast implants, contraceptive Intra-Uterine Devices (IUDs), and bone, muscle, and joint fusion hardware.

Another common type of implantable medical device from The Clinician eXchange is an implanted vascular access device, used in patients with poor peripheral venous access, or who require frequent vein access for treatments like chemotherapy.

As defined by the FDA, an active medical device is a “medical device relying for its functioning on a source of electrical energy or any source of power other than that directly generated by the human body or gravity.” 

An active implantable medical device is a “medical device which is intended to be totally or partially introduced, surgically or medically, into the human body or by medical intervention into a natural orifice, and which is intended to remain after the procedure.”

Active implantable medical devices are frequently used to treat cardiac conditions in the form of cardiac stimulator devices. To help the rhythm control of the heart, a patient may need an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), a battery-powered device placed under the skin that keeps track of your heart rate, or a pacemaker, a small, battery-operated wireless implantable medical device that assists the heart is beating in a regular rhythm. 

To support the structure of the heart and circulation, a patient may need a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD), a battery-operated, mechanical pump-type device to maintain the pumping ability of a heart that can’t effectively work on its own.