One of my Mayo heart sisters was recently invited to speak at a Patient Advocates Forum during the annual AdvaMed 2013 conference in Washington, DC – billed as “the premiere annual conference of the medical technology industry”. This industry includes companies that manufacture cardiac devices like pacemakers and ICDs (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators).
So she did what all of us lucky ‘Mayo grads’ are easily able to do: she contacted other graduates of the annual WomenHeart Science and Leadership Symposium for Women With Heart Disease at Mayo Clinic. What, she asked us, would patients want her to say to these 1,000+ delegates from device companies (and the physicians who care for heart patients) attending this conference? She wanted other patient perspectives on what it’s like living with a metal device implanted inside your chest, what they worried about, and what could be done better. Here is a sampling of the responses – so listen up, titans of the medical device industry and all those who implant these devices into our bodies: Continue reading