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Pictured: A heart implant the size of a grain of rice is being used for the first time in Australia.

Monday 5 March 2018 

Monash Health has fitted the first Australian with a new wireless device as small as a grain of rice, to help treat heart failure.

The technology is aimed at patients who don’t respond to conventional pacemakers and have no other option left to treat their struggling heart.

Monash Health patient Noel Fox had the procedure last week after the pacemaker he received three years ago was not been able to fix his symptoms, Noel could no longer walk long distances and felt like a prisoner in his own home.

The technology involves the use of a tiny electrode that is placed inside the left ventricle of the heart. Doctors deploy the device through the femoral artery near the patient’s groin and a transmitter and battery is surgically implanted below the heart across the patient’s ribs.

The transmitter sends ultrasound beams to the wireless electrode inside the heart which it converts into electrical pulses. It works together with existing pacemaker wires that are used to pace the right ventricle.

“The device provides an opportunity to improve the heart failure symptoms beyond what we could’ve thought of,” said Dr Emily Kotschet, Electrophysiologist and Cardiologist at Monash Health.

Watch the Channel 9 News clip below:

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