40th Anniversary

Introduction to 40th Anniversary

Today, the Heart Rhythm Society is a thriving global community of heart rhythm professionals who share a passionate commitment to education, discovery, and the best patient care. However, the story was very different 40 years ago, until a small group of physicians in a fledgling subspecialty of cardiology asked, "What if …?"

"What if there was a medical society dedicated exclusively to heart rhythm disorders? What could we achieve then?"

The Heart Rhythm Society’s 40th anniversary is a time to honor their vision and celebrate all that we have achieved in the field of electrophysiology. Each week until the 40th Annual Heart Rhythm Scientific Sessions on May 8, 2019, this page will feature a different story from our remarkable journey.

Our thanks to the members of the Heart Rhythm Society History Committee and to Berndt Lüderitz, MD, PhD, author of Profiles in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology, for helping us spotlight these pioneers.

 

Innovators

Hundreds of our colleagues deserve recognition for their contributions to cardiac pacing and electrophysiology. Here we present but a handful of some of the pivotal innovators in our field.

 
Peter Zoll, MDEarl E. BakkenSeymour Furman, MD, FHRS, CCDSAke Senning, MDWilson GreatbatchMichel MirowskiWilton “Will” W. Webster, Jr.Doris J.W. Escher, MD, FHRSE. Levi Watkins, MDKamal Kumar Sethi, MDSilvia G. Priori, MD, PhDCouncil Of Allied Professionals Founders Melvin M. Scheinman, MD, FHRSMichel Haissaguerre, MD, PhDWarren Jackman, MD, FHRSMark E. Josephson, MDNASPE (HRS) Founders
 

Timeline

1952

First portable pacemaker, powered by alternating current (AC) from electrical wall outlets.

1957

First battery-operated externally wearable pacemaker.

1958

First self-contained, rechargeable pacemaker used in human patient; first transvenous pacing.

1960

First fully implantable pacemaker, powered by mercuric oxide-zinc battery cells.

1961

First direct current (DC) defibrillator.

1966

Demand pacemakers developed, becoming basis for all modern pacemakers.

1969

Lithium-iodide batteries introduced to extend pacemaker longevity.

1971

Dual-chamber pacemakers introduced.

1979

North American Society for Pacing and Electrophysiology (NASPE) founded.

1979
1980

First implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) used in human patient.

1980

First NASPE Scientific Sessions held at ACC annual meeting in Houston.

1980
1981

Steroid-eluting leads developed to decrease inflammatory response.

1981

Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology (PACE) named journal of record.

1981
1982

Rate-responsive pacemakers introduced to adjust to patient’s activity level.

1982

First NASPE policy conference held to improve practice of cardiac pacing.

1982
1983

First catheter ablation and first RF ablation.

1984

First standalone Scientific Sessions held in New York.

1984
1985

NASPExAM founded as credentialing organization; Allied Professionals group started.

1985
1991

IX World Symposium of Cardiac Pacing sponsored by NASPE in Washington, D.C.

1991
1992

Remote monitoring of ICD data adopted to enhance patient follow-up.

1992

First Board Review Course in electrophysiology offered.

1992
1995

First clinical use of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

2002

HeartRhythm launched as official journal.

2002
2004

Renamed Heart Rhythm Society; relocates to Washington, D.C.

2004
2007

NASPExAM rebranded as International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (IBHRE).

2007
2010

HRS admitted to AMA House of Delegates.

2010
2011

First cardiac mapping systems producing real-time, 3D images introduced.

2012

First subcutaneous ICD (S-ICD) developed without leads touching the heart.

2014

Clinical trials of leadless pacing, designed to reduce lead failure, valve injury, and infection begun.

2015

First atrial closure devices implanted in high-risk stroke patients.

2015

EP Lab Accreditation standards submitted for public comment; program launches in 2016.

2015
2016

HRS Communities created to facilitate online and in-person networking.

2016
2017

First standalone HRS meeting held outside North America, in Shanghai.

2017
2019

First Digital Health premier session held on diagnosis/disease management technologies and implications for providers.

2019
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