Monday, Oct. 25, 2010


While the invention of the first implantable pacemaker is credited to Swedish designer Rune Elmqvist, Wilson Greatbatch improved upon the design by switching to mercury batteries, which were significantly smaller. Elmqvist and Ake Senning successfully implanted the first pacemaker in 1958, but it lasted only three hours. Nearly a decade later, Greatbatch invented the lithium-iodide battery that is the standard power cell used in pacemakers today.