News Column

Patent Issued for Programmer for Cardiac Implantable Medical Devices, Having an Accelerated Test Mode of the Parameters

July 14, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Cardiovascular Week -- Sorin CRM S.A.S. (Clamart Cedex, FR) has been issued patent number 8768464, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx editors (see also Sorin CRM S.A.S.).

The patent's inventor is Catto, Giovanni (Gentilly, FR).

This patent was filed on April 21, 2008 and was published online on July 1, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The programmer allows a practitioner to interrogate the implantable device and read the contents of its memories, and to program the implantable device so as to modify its settings or drive the execution of various algorithms, to provide software updates, to operate tests, etc.

"Once the implantable device is positioned in a patient, and its leads connected, it is necessary to verify that a plurality of parameters are properly set at the moment of the implantation procedure, and thereafter on a regular basis or from time to time during follow-up visits.

"The main parameters to be tested are: sensing sensitivity, lead impedance and capture threshold. These tests are typically performed for both the atrium and ventricle. In the case of a defibrillator, the test also covers the continuity of the shock coil or electrode, and the charging time for the shock capacitor to reach its nominal energy value. Finally, for multi-site devices, notably the implantable devices for cardiac resynchronization therapy ('CRT'), it is also necessary to test the parameters relating to the left ventricle (impedance of the coronary lead for left ventricular pacing, and capture threshold of left ventricular electrode). Performance of these tests is typically controlled by the practitioner, through the programmer.

"U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,003,349, 6,618,622 and 5,833,623 describe some devices adapted to the execution of such tests. The practitioner can notably use and create 'scripts' that define a sequence of operations through which the different requested tests are automatically linked to perform in sequence, one after the other.

"When the practitioner schedules performance of one test, it results in putting the implanted device in a particular operating mode (DDI, DOO, etc.), with a particular pacing rate (the value being either chosen by the practitioner or set by the programmer to a default value) and a particular AV delay. The programmer then collects the operating data of the implanted device with such predetermined settings, and displays on a screen the result of the test thus performed. These tests can be practically launched by pressing a button available to the practitioner (e.g., an actual physical button, or a clickable zone on the screen), with each pressing of the button triggering the corresponding test.

"The time required for executing the various tests is a major issue. In the first place, it is highly desirable to shorten the testing phase, for it constitutes a preliminary step to any interpretation or diagnosis, and therefore a dead time throughout the duration of the visit to the practitioner. Furthermore, from the patient's viewpoint, during the tests the implanted device is adjusted with test-specific predetermined settings, and its operation is not that for which it is normally parameterized. The implanted device is therefore not adapted to the patient's physiology throughout the duration required for these tests to be performed. It is therefore highly desirable, for a safety purpose, to abbreviate as much as possible this phase of tests."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, NewsRx reporters also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to reduce the duration required for executing the various tests of the implanted device operation.

"Advantageously, one skilled in the art will observe that, in accordance with the present invention, the total duration of the implanted device tests can be reduced to less than one minute, whereas in the known practice, this duration is never shorter than 2 min 15 sec or 2 min 30 sec. This reduction in time is significant.

"It is yet another object of the present invention to propose to the practitioner the execution of specific actions that are automatically linked to perform in sequence, one after the other, the execution of the test steps, without any need for the operator's intervention, including, but not limited to: memorization (saving to memory) of results, print-out of a report, activation of a diagnosis-aid module, etc.

"Broadly, the present invention is directed to operating a temporal compression of the test sequence by automatic performance of the different tests, with overlap (simultaneous execution) of some of them.

"One aspect of the invention is directed to a programmer that, in a manner that is already known per se in the prior art (see, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 7,003,349), comprises a telemetry system for a bidirectional coupling with the implant, and a user interface, for defining the tests to be performed on the implant and displaying the results of these tests. These tests comprise at least part of the tests selected from among the following group: ventricular sensing sensitivity, atrial sensing sensitivity, ventricular lead impedance, atrial lead impedance, ventricular capture threshold, atrial capture threshold. The programmer also comprises command means for executing a plurality of test steps, each step comprising (i) a predetermined setting of the operation mode, pacing rate and atrio-ventricular delay of the implanted device, (ii) collecting the implanted device operating data as a function of said predetermined settings, and (iii) processing and display of the data thus collected.

"In a manner characteristic of the present invention, the plurality of test steps comprises at least one step of time compression, along which at least some of the ventricular and atrial tests of a same parameter are executed simultaneously during a common step. The term 'simultaneously' as used herein means that the concerned tests are concomitant, and they are: executed in parallel over a same time interval, in contrast to an execution that would be performed 'successively' or 'alternately' or 'sequentially'.

"According to another characteristic of this invention, the user interface comprises means for preliminary selection by the user of the tests to be performed, and the command means is able to link in a sequence, without any intervention by the user, the execution of the corresponding selected test steps.

"According to various particular embodiments of this invention, the command means is preferably able to execute at least one step of adjustment, interpositioned between two test steps implying a change of the pacing mode and/or rate of the implanted device, and/or a step of adjustment of the pacing mode and/or rate and/or atrioventricular delay of the implanted device, after execution of the last test step.

"The command means is preferably able to command the execution of at least the following: one simultaneous test of atrial and ventricular sensing sensitivity, over N.sub.1 cycles, preferably N.sub.1=5 cycles; one simultaneous atrial and ventricular lead impedance test, over N.sub.2 cycles, preferably N.sub.2=1 cycle; one step of ventricular capture threshold, over N.sub.3 cycles, preferably N.sub.3.ltoreq.18 cycles; one step of atrial capture threshold, over N.sub.4 cycles. Further, in a preferred embodiment, the step of the ventricular capture threshold test is executed over N.sub.3=N.sub.3'+N.sub.3'' cycles, N.sub.3' being a fixed number of calibration cycles, and N.sub.3'' a variable number of cycles of capture test with successive decreasing pulse amplitudes, the command means being able to terminate the ventricular capture threshold test as soon as a loss of capture is detected.

"In yet another embodiment, the command means is also able to command the execution of at least the following: one step of continuity of the shock coil or shock electrode; a step of test of the charging time of the shock capacitor; and distinct steps of left and right ventricular capture threshold tests;

"The user interface preferably comprises means for preliminary selection by the user of at least one specific action to be linked to perform in sequence, without any intervention by the user, after execution of the test steps. Notably, the actions are taken from among the group comprising: memorization of the test results in the implanted device memory, memorization of the test results in the programmer, print-out of the test results and activation of a diagnosis-aid module following the tests."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Catto, Giovanni. Programmer for Cardiac Implantable Medical Devices, Having an Accelerated Test Mode of the Parameters. U.S. Patent Number 8768464, filed April 21, 2008, and published online on July 1, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Cardiology, Implantable, Medical Devices, Sorin CRM S.A.S.

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Source: Cardiovascular Week

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