implantable cardioverter defibrillator

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a device that is similar to the pacemaker the difference is in terms of the sizes otherwise it is the same instrument. It is a technological device that is used to monitor and respond to the activities of the heart. The heart is known to be independent in its pumping activity and failure of it to undertake this role places an organism at the risk of heart failure which is fatal. To respond to this problem, this device was developed with various functional components. ICDs possess modes of pacing, in which the device continuously send small electrical stimulus to the heart in response to the variation of its pumping pace. It is also worth to note that in the defibrillator, this device sends larger shocks in order in response to the altered normal rhythm of the heart. Its various structural and functional components play a central role in its position within the body of an organism so that it can accomplish its designed role. ICDs have electrical lead that connects it to the muscles of the heart from where it will transmit pumping force. This gadget has a magnetic switch is in positioned in proximity to a magnetic field. The magnetic switch through magnetic field science aids ICDs to transmit telemetry data through a wireless means including the electrocardiogram measurements. It is also possible to activate such telemetry data on RF command solely without the involvement of the magnet. This magnetic field has a programing head on which is a constituent of the programmer that is proximal to the patient’s implanted ICD device.

ICD delivers two levels of electrical energy which can alter the pace of heartbeat either way. It has a low energy shock that can convert an abnormal heart beat into a the required rhythmic frequency and a high energy shock that that can be delivered in the event that arrhythmia is intense and the heart is quivering instead of beating.

It is important to highlight the three components of the pacemaker in order to explore their various functions. This gadget has a pulse generator which is made of a sealed lithium battery and an electronic circuit package. The pumping role of the heart is its primary activity and this constitutes its beats. The pulse generator is therefore the source of such electrical signals that make the heartbeat. These generators also have the ability to receive and respond to the signals from the heart.

Some lead wires which are flexible and insulated wires that transmit electrical signals to the heart through conduction from the pulse generator. These lead wires are also responsible for the relay of signals from the heart to the generator. From the pulse generator is a lead end attached while the electrode end is positioned to the upper chamber of the heart (atrium) or in the lower chamber which is the right ventricle. Biventricular pacemakers require that two lead wires are used.

Lead is used in this case due to its good electric conductivity, mechanical strength and reliability. It needs to withstand the consistent effects of the motion as a result of the body movement and the beating of the heart. Lead is equally good in terms of electrical insulation. The electrodes are either bipolar or unipolar and this explains the variation in magnitude of stimulus relayed as the pacemaker is inserted and connected to the heart muscles.

Electrodes in the lead are also a significant component of the pace maker. They are responsible for sensing of the heart when its natural pulse rate falls below the one programmed in the circuitry of the pacemaker. The vital role of lead can be seen from its positioning which can be to the right atrium; right ventricle or it can be positioned to serve the two ventricles. This depends on the condition that calls for the insertion of the pacemaker. There are cases where a there may be dysfunctioning of the sinus node or development of another atrial pacemaker within the heart tissue which takes over the sinus node functions. To resolve this problem a permanent pacemaker with the lead wires being located in the atrium is used. For an ICD, a wire positioned in the ventricle is applicable in treatment of fast ventricular arrhythmias.


The wireless communication within this magnetic field in the ICD is linked to the external programmer through a 175 kHz frequency band, which is meant to produce short range communication when using the device to monitor the activities in the heart. The currently produced ICDs are able to communicate through small and large frequencies which ranges from 175 kHz and 402-405 MHz in that respect of medical implant communications (MICS) frequency band. The larger frequency bandwidth is meant for long range communications. It is important to note that flexibility in both home and clinical settings is the motivation behind the incorporated longer range frequency communications.

The power supply of the pace maker is controlled by lithium Iodide in which there is an anode and cathode reactions such that the flow of electric charges constitutes the transmission of the pulses. This yields an open circuit of 2.8V.Lithium iodide is preferable due to its durability quality except for its high source impedance. The electric output circuit is responsible for the production of stimuli to be applied to the heart when pacemaker is functioning. This generation of stimulus is a product of the timing circuit trigger which is characterized by constant-voltage pulses rated at a range of 5.0V and 5.5V.

Question three

In regard to the security and safety of the patients, a model of ICD which constitute the pacemaker technology is designed to communicate through a wireless means to an adjacent external programmer which works under 175kHz frequency range. This was resolved through partial reverse-engineering of the ICD’s protocol of communication with a soft ware radio and an oscilloscope. Various implementations on radio-based software attack that could lead to compromising of the patient’s privacy and safety will therefore be undertaken. Introduction of three new zero-power defenses which is based on RF harvesting of power. The defense on the privacy and security of the patients is achieved through three different types of prevention and deterrence mechanism that rests at the interface between pacemaker and the outside world. The future plan on this device is to produce one without power from battery to minimize design changes for the future ICD.

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