In this book, and more specifically in this chapter, numerous areas of cardiology and cardiac surgery in which the development of innovative technologies continues to mature at a rapid rate have been reviewed. These areas include: (1) resuscitation systems and devices; (2) implantable therapies (e.g., pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, stents, septal occluders, valves, annular rings, fibrin patches, etc.); (3) delivery systems/invasive therapies (e.g., angioplasty, ablations, catheters, etc.); (4) procedural improvements (e.g., mapping systems, 3D echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging, training simulators, etc.); (5) less-invasive surgical approaches (i.e., off-pump, robotics, etc.); (6) postprocedural follow-up/ telemedicine (e.g., electrical, functional, adverse events, etc.); and (7) training tools. There is no doubt that continued improvement of all such technologies as well as advances in rehabilitation and other support services (e.g., patient education, training, home monitoring, etc.) will extend or save lives and enhance the overall quality of life for such patients.

Finally, it should be mentioned that much work has been done on the implantable replacement heart, but such prosthetic systems have yet to be used successfully (e.g., the AbioCorâ„¢ Implantable Replacement Heart; Abiomed, Danvers, MA). However, when a given patient is at imminent risk of death, the implant of an artificial heart is designed both to extend life and to provide a reasonable quality of life. After implantation, the device does not require any tubes or wires to pass through the skin; power to drive the prosthetic heart is transmitted across the intact skin, avoiding skin penetration that may provide opportunities for infection. Just like the natural heart, the replacement heart consists of two blood-pumping chambers capable of delivering more than 8 L of blood every minute.

In conclusion, it is exciting to think about the technologies that have been employed thus far as well as those that are being developed that will positively affect the overall health care of the cardiac patient. It is an exhilarating time to be working in the field of cardiovascular sciences.

Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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