Cardiac Medical Device & Clinical Specialist Careers
A medical device specialist or a clinical specialist
The specialist enables the clinical and technical applications of medical devices. These duties are performed in the procedure room while a procedure is being performed on the patient and/or in the post-operative monitoring of patients who have certain types of devices implanted. Medical device specialist jobs exist in all medical specialties. They may be referred to as field clinical representatives, technical sales support representatives, mapping specialists, etc. in the industry. In device clinics and healthcare systems, they may be referred to as device technicians (pacemakers techs and EP techs), device clinicians, etc.
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Cardiac Rhythm Management
Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM) Devices
CRM devices made up the largest single segment of the overall cardiovascular medical device market in 2015.
Market research firms estimate that the global market for all cardiovascular medical devices (including CRM devices, prosthetics, and other devices) could grow to $67 billion by 2019.
What are CIEDs?
The CIED most people are familiar with is the pacemaker, which helps control irregular or slow heartbeats by means of electronic stimulation. Pacemakers first came to market in the late 1950s, with the approval of the external pacemaker. In 1960, the FDA approved the first implantable pacemaker. In the 1980’s this CIED group was joined by the introduction of the implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) which can shock a patient experiencing a sudden cardiac death (SCD) event. Together these devices have saved millions of patients’ lives and have improved the quality of life for millions more. CIED and EP device manufacturers have continually refined the design and function of pacemakers, ICDs, mapping and ablation catheters over the years, making them safer and more effective for the patients who need them.
Emerging developments in the field include remote monitoring and optimization of CIED performance over the internet, and miniaturization. Mapping and ablation catheters probe the frontiers of curative therapies for cardiac arrhythmias. Future generations of CIEDs are likely to be small enough to implant completely inside the heart. And EP devices continue to evolve at a rapid rate. Research shows that world-wide electrophysiology market specifically is growing at 13.4% per year.
Who Needs a CIED or an EP Device?
CIEDs or EP devices can extend life and improve quality of life by regulating the heart’s pumping action, which is controlled by electrical impulses. Patients of all ages may need a pacemaker, an ICD, or an ablation to assist with slow, fast, or erratic heartbeat. Conditions which may benefit from pacemaker or ICD implantation, or a cardiac ablation include:
- Bradycardia (slow heartbeat)
- Tachycardia (fast heartbeat)
- Heart block (disruption of an electrical signal which controls the heart’s pumping action)
- Atrial fibrillation (irregular fast heartbeat in the atria)
- Ventricular fibrillation (irregular fast heartbeat in the ventricles)
- Long QT syndrome (when the heart takes dangerously long to recharge between beats)
CIEDs can also treat arrhythmias caused by acquired or congenital heart disease. They are implanted by cardiac electrophysiologists and regularly tested, monitored, and adjusted by medical device clinical specialists.
Who Are the Major Manufacturers of CIED and EP Devices?
Major global manufacturers of CIED and EP devices include Abbott Laboratories, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Biotronik, LivaNova, Johnson & Johnson, and Impulse Dynamics.
There are other emerging companies that manufacture unique types of cardiac medical devices including diagnostic and imaging equipment. With the right training and support from PrepMD, you can be ready to pursue career opportunities among many of them.
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