CHAPEL HILL – People dealing with heart failure and no longer adequately responding to medications have a new option to improve quality of life: Cardiaccontractility modulation, or CCM.

The treatment is now available through UNC Medical Center, having been utilized recently for the first time in the Carolinas.

Recently approved by the FDA and delivered by New Jersey-based Impluse Dynamics, CCM is intended to “improve the contraction of the heart, allowing more oxygen-rich blood to reach the body,” UNC Health explained in the announcement made Thursday.

  • Is CCM therapy right for you or someone you know? Call the Heart & Vascular Center referral line at 984-974-2900 and request a referral to Cardiac Electrophysiology at UNC Medical Center or visit

“CCM therapy delivers precisely timed electrical pulses to the heart that are intended to improve the heart’s ability to contract and can be used in conjunction with medications and other heart failure therapies,” UNC added.

“CCM therapy is a therapeutic option for heart failure patients that is intended to help patients feel better, to improve their quality of life, and keep them out of the hospital,” added Dr. Anil Gehi, Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at UNC.

“The Optimizer device has recently been FDA approved for use in certain heart failure patients. The device is implanted in a similar way to conventional cardiac pacemakers. For those patients who are not candidates for cardiac resynchronization therapy or who are not to the point of needing a left ventricular assist device, CCM is another device based approach with benefits beyond medical therapy. We are excited to be able to offer this novel therapy to patients at UNC Medical Center.”

Heart failure affects nearly 26 million people across the world.