Vitatron Introduces Newest Series of Digital Pacemakers

ARNHEM, The Netherlands--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 2, 2005--As digital technology advances not only in daily life, but also in the medical world, Vitatron received CE mark approval for European distribution of another series of innovative digital pacemakers: Vitatron C-series, A3 models. Major benefits of digital pacemakers are the ease of use and speed. Ease of use is demonstrated in the Vitatron C-series, A3 models' new feature: the stored Intracardiac ElectroGraM (IEGM). Moreover, even if the IEGM is always switched on, there is still less than a 1 percent reduction in pacemaker longevity.

Vitatron C-series, A3 models are fast; in just 19 seconds, the physician evaluating the device with the use of a programmer can see how the pacemaker is working for the patient. In that short space of time, the unique feature Therapy Advisor(TM) analyzes the pacemaker data and translates it into therapy by giving suggestions to optimize programming settings. A complete technical follow-up takes just over three minutes. Rob ten Hoedt, Vice President and General Manager Vitatron says: "Due to this fast technical follow-up the physician should be able to work more efficiently and have more time available for personal care for the patients. We believe that patients will find their visit to the cardiologist to be efficient and tailored to their individual needs. A fast follow-up fits in with tighter hospital budgets and growing need for efficiency in hospitals today."

Stored digital EGM

Vitatron C-series, A3 models are the first models with a stored digital EGM. With EGM switched on throughout the lifetime of the pacemaker, physicians will get more information, and there is less than a 1% reduction in pacemaker longevity. Pacemakers that last longer are both more pleasant for the patient and result in less work for the hospitals. Dr. Pedar Bagger from Hammersmith Hospital in Central London, who performed the worldwide first implant, says: "Vitatron C-series, A3 models can store up to twelve minutes of digital EGM in single chamber mode and up to three minutes with atrial and ventricular monitoring. The high-quality digital EGM shows you the actual signal that the pacemaker uses as input signal. This helps you to interpret the ECG-strips and thus to classify the heart rhythm. This enables the physician to validate diagnostics for more optimal functioning of the pacing therapies." Digital advantages Vitatron C-series, A3 models combine the innovation of advanced diagnostics and the efficiency of digital processing found in other Vitatron digital pacemakers. They contain a wide range of patient-focused, physiological therapies, as well as a many diagnostics to help patients with a slow heart rate (bradycardia). In addition, Vitatron C-series, A3 models offer the full advantages of Digital Signal Processing (DSP). The DSP converts the analog signal into a digital signal, providing precise sensing and analysis of the cardiac signal. The advantage of DSP is that it is much faster, there is more storage capacity and all diagnostics are available during initial interrogation.


Vitatron is a highly successful and independent medical company with its head office in Arnhem, The Netherlands. Vitatron is both a global specialist in cardiac rhythm disorders as well as the only Dutch company to develop and produce pacing therapies. Started in 1956, the company has worked to give people a greater quality of life. Since the implantation of the first Vitatron pacemaker in 1962, Vitatron pacemakers have helped more than 600,000 people throughout the world. The company works closely with medical doctors in further development of pacemakers. From 1986 Vitatron has been part of Medtronic Inc., a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Medtronic, Inc., headquartered in Minneapolis (USA), is the world's leading medical technology company, providing lifelong solutions for people with chronic disease. Its Internet address is www.medtronic.com.

Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended April 30, 2004. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.

More information on Vitatron can be found under www.vitatron.com


Vitatron Media Relations

Eiblin Fidder, +31 (0)26 376 7011


Medtronic Investor Relations

Chris King, 763-505-2695