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Lansing, Mich. (WZZM) - For patients whose heart beats too slowly, a new device could help and that device is part of a clinical trial here in Michigan

Sparrow Hospital in Lansing was one of the first centers in the country to implant a new type of pacemaker. The nanostim device is made by St. Jude Medical.

It's a miniature sized pacemaker, only a few centimeters long. It has no electrical lead connected directly into a patient's heart. That means instead of surgery, doctors use a catheter to insert the small device into the heart using an artery in the groin.

"This very small pacemaker may ultimately be safer for patients because it doesn't have leads or have to be inserted under the skin of a patient's chest like current cardiac pacemakers," said Dr. John Ip of the Sparrow Clinical Research Institute.

Doctors say the device has more advantages including no restrictions on patient activities, less discomfort, infections and device complications. The pacemaker is also designed to be retrievable from the heart.

Sparrow is one of 50 centers in the world testing the new pacemaker's effectiveness in patients. The clinical trial is planning to enroll 670 people.

If you are interested in learning more on the portion of the trial happening in Michigan, you can call the Sparrow Clinical Research Institute at (517) 483-7518 and ask about the Leadless II trial. To learn more about the nanostim device, click here.

More than four million patients around the world have a pacemaker and 700,000 new patients get one every year.

"I believe this device will be true game-changing technology in cardiovascular medicine and revolutionize care for patients with arrhythmias," said Dr. Ip.

For a list of all of the clinical trials being done at Sparrow Hospital, click here.

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