Since their formal introduction in 1980, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) have undergone innumerable design modifications through several generations. They are indispensable today in successfully managing fatal ventricular arrhythmias. Their role in averting sudden cardiac death is recognized beyond doubt. Their applications and indications have continuously expanded over the last two decades. This article reviews the salient features in the evolution of ICDs, their current indications, recent advances and future directions. With more advanced detection algorithms, the potential integration with leadless pacing, and the possibility to serve as a remote monitoring device to recognize atrial fibrillation, acute ischemia, or electrolyte imbalance, the application of ICDs is rapidly evolving. Copyright: © 2020 Termedia & Banach.