OSU medical center uses remote pacemaker tech to reduce OR personnel

Columbus-based Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center this month began using pacemaker technology that allows a technician to remotely program the device during surgery without being physically present in the operating room, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Toshimasa Okabe, MD, a cardiologist at OSU, implanted a pacemaker, which was remotely programmed by a Medtronic technician, in a patient on April 3. Since then, the medical center has used the technology eight times.

The FDA approved the technology in 2015 but OSU started using it this month to limit the number of people in the OR due to COVID-19. With the technology, the Medtronic technician can still consult on the surgery and the pacemaker can be programmed wirelessly from anywhere in the U.S.

"I think this is the first example of how physicians have crossed the world of leveraging modern technology to adjust our work life and patient needs in times of global pandemics, so I'm thankful for all the technological advancements that really made this possible," said Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, MD, chair of the American College of Cardiology's Electrophysiology Council, according to the report.

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