From Orthopedics to Power Transfer—A Bright Future for Implants

As traditional medical devices evolve to wireless implants, the challenge of how to charge the devices is taking center stage. One option would be to remove the pacemaker, heart assist pump, or other implant and replace the battery. Obviously this isn’t ideal because it requires an additional procedure. WiTricity is a wireless power transfer technology that utilizes magnetic resonance and can be used in conjunction with implants like ventricular assistance devices to facilitate charging through the patient’s skin without raising the temperature of the tissue, according to David Schatz, vice president of sales and business development at WiTricity. The technology allows for a power source several centimeters above the skin to charge a deeply embedded implant, allowing for more patient comfort and lower risks.