In medical product development, one of the most significant challenges involves satisfying the power requirements of devices. This is particularly so with implantable devices, where replacing batteries requires a medical procedure. There are several intriguing technologies that are being researched to see if power can be provided by the human body’s own systems to drive medical devices.

One technology attempts to harness the energy created by the beating heart to power a pacemaker. Another is looking at using a biological battery that exists in the inner ear as the power source for devices.

Technologies such as these are quickly moving from science fiction to science fact. These are exciting developments to watch. Keeping abreast of them will give designers a head start in creating the next wave of medical device innovation.