Implantable devices

If you have an abnormal heart rhythm or if the electrical impulses don’t travel through your heart properly, your doctor may decide that your heart needs additional support. Several advanced medical devices can help support your heart by using painless electrical signals to keep it beating regularly and/or improve function. These devices may not only improve symptoms but have been shown to improve long-term survival.

The devices are constantly getting smaller, more efficient, and with longer-lasting batteries. These devices are usually inserted under local anaesthetic. They are positioned under your collarbone so as not to be visible on the outside of your body. Most devices will require periodic monitoring, usually annually, on an outpatient basis.

In addition to providing electrical impulses, many implantable devices now offer the ability to send clinical data directly to your doctor using telemonitoring. This connection is achieved either by using a normal telephone line or via a wireless Internet connection. Your doctor can then use this data to manage your condition and possibly detect signs of worsening earlier.

Click on any of the links below to learn more about the heart devices that are currently available:


How medical devices work in heart failure How medical devices work in heart failure


CRT slide set for primary care physicians Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy in Heart Failure: The essentials for primary care physicians


ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers. is a European Society of Cardiology website

The website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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