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.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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