Medtronic goes micro, implants world's smallest pacemaker


Medtronic thinks less is more when it comes to pacemakers.

The Twin Cities-based medical device giant reports its latest pacemaker is one-tenth the size of its predecessors and can be attached to the heart through a catheter, rather than an artery. As the Star Tribune reports, Medtronic describes the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) as about the size of a large vitamin pill.

The company says the pacemaker needs no wires – called leads – to connect it to the heart and can be repositioned if necessary.

Medtronic announced that the first implant of the new pacemaker came in Linz, Austria. That marks the start of clinical trials that will involve as many as 780 patients.

Just last week an analyst writing for The Motley Fool described Medtronic's dominance in the pacemaker market as a stranglehold, with a market share of more than 50 percent. Todd Campbell says in the U.S. and Europe the market for pacemakers is mature, but it's growing by double digits in some emerging economies, including China.

Campbell writes that the growth is encouraging to competitors St. Jude Medical and Boston Scientific, but those companies will need to out-innovate the industry leader in order to catch up to Medtronic.

News of the tiny Micra TPS comes less than a month after a study found a new generation of Medtronic's EnRhythm pacemaker was associated with fewer heart problems and deaths than traditional pacemakers.

Next Up

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

Minnesota reports COVID deaths of teen student, 2 school staffers

Cases in schools rose again in the past week, though there are signs cases may have peaked.

Proctor football

Investigation of alleged misconduct on Proctor football team nears conclusion

The football team canceled its season and the coach subsequently resigned.

minnesota house of representatives

Minnesota House will continue hybrid operations, require masks in 2022

The Speaker of the House announced the plans in a memo to members and staff on Thursday.

autumn larson settlement

Minneapolis committee OKs $45K payout to woman shot by police during riots

She was hit in the face with a "less lethal" projectile while she was in her car trying to leave the protest.


What NOAA's winter outlook says about Minnesota

A moderate La Niña winter is expected.

Merwin Liquors

Liquor store that has become shooting hotspot seeking to move

The area surrounding Merwin's Liquors has been beset by crime in recent years.

Mohamed Noor

Ex-Minneapolis cop Noor resentenced to 57 months in prison

Justine Ruszczyk Damond's fiancé said he forgives Noor.

Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards was right: he is Houdini and his bag of tricks is incredible

Edwards put the entire league on notice with his season-opening performance.

Bob Fletcher

New 'public service' charter school backed by Ramsey Co. Sheriff to open

Efforts to open the school were spearheaded in part by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher.