Northside Hospital - Northside is First in Metro Atlanta to Use New Wireless Pacemaker

Northside is First in Metro Atlanta to Use New Wireless Pacemaker

Posted on: June 04, 2012


Northside Hospital is the first hospital in Metro Atlanta, among the first in the country, to treat patients with the new wireless INGENIO™ pacemaker, manufactured by Boston Scientific. This state-of-the-art technology allows Northside cardiologists to remotely monitor the respiratory and heart rates of their cardiac patients, around the clock and from any computer system, via a secure website. Dr. Michael Balk, managing partner, Northside Cardiology, implanted the first device at Northside on Thursday, May 24, 2012. 

"With this new technology, when a patient walks into the bedroom to sleep, his pacemaker communicates automatically and wirelessly with a special transmitter that is plugged into the phone jack; there’s no work needed on the patient’s part," said Dr. Balk. "Once I receive and evaluate the information, I can proactively manage the patient’s heart status and even transmit information back to the pacemaker to make changes if necessary." 

Pacemakers are designed to treat bradycardia, a condition in which the heart beats too slowly – usually less than 60 beats per minute – depriving the body of sufficient oxygen. Most pacemakers on the market today require either a special wand or a connection to electrodes in order to program or transmit information. The INGENIO offers patients much more flexibility and can even save time during follow-up exams, transmitting relevant data to physicians between visits, via a secure website, and from most locations in North America, without a landline. 

"Patients don’t need to worry about messing up the transmission or attaching leads incorrectly," said Dr. Balk. "There are no wires to connect; everything is automatic." 

The INGENIO pacemaker also features RightRate™ pacing technology, which is designed to treat chronotropic incompetence (CI). CI is the inability of the heart to regulate its rate appropriately in response to physical activity, leaving patients to feel tired or short of breath during daily activities such as walking or climbing stairs. RightRate employs Boston Scientific’s minute-ventilation sensor, the only sensor clinically proven to restore chronotropic competence. 

Approximately 270 pacemakers are implanted at Northside’s three hospitals each year. Any patient eligible for a pacemaker is eligible for the INGENIO device. 

Northside Hospital is home to many board-certified cardiologists and cardiac and radiology-trained nurses and technologists, who provide specialized cardiac care. Numerous diagnostic, treatment and support services – encompassing the entire continuum of care for the heart patient – are available at locations across North Metro Atlanta. 

"We recognize the rapidly growing needs in our community for more high-quality cardiac diagnostic testing and treatment," said Liz Sobczyk, director of cardiovascular services, Northside Hospital. "In recent years, we’ve made significant enhancements to our cardiology services to meet those needs and maintain our continued commitment to providing comprehensive cardiac care."


In 2010, Northside began offering Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI), previously known as angioplasty, at its hospitals in Atlanta, Cherokee and Forsyth. Renovations also have been made to the hospital’s Cath Labs and critical and progressive cardiac care units. In addition, Northside Hospital-Atlanta and Northside Hospital-Forsyth have received accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (formerly the Society of Chest Pain Centers), signifying their high level of expertise in treating patients with heart attack symptoms. 

Read more about Northside Hospital's Heart & Vascular Institute.

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