Medtronic Inc. said Thursday it launched a series of new implantable heart devices in Europe under the name Protecta.
The company said the new devices include technology called SmartShock that can significantly reduce inappropriate shocks, which it said are a significant problem with people with implanted heart devices. The Protecta products include implantable cardioverter defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators.
Both devices deliver small electrical shocks to the heart when they detect a problem with the patient's heartbeat. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs, treat rapid heartbeats. Cardiac resynchronization devices include an ICD along with a resynchronization device, which is used to coordinate the pumping action of the heart.
Medtronic said studies show that about 20 percent of patients with implantable defibrillators may have inappropriate shocks within about three years because of non-lethal arrhythmia or electrical problems with the device. It said a clinical trial indicated that 98 percent of patients who received implants with SmartShock technology would be free of unwanted shocks a year after getting the implant, and 92 percent would have no shocks after five years.
Medtronic stock slipped 20 cents to $38.92 in morning trading.