Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 07, 2013

Demand for Cardiac Rhythm Management Devices Grows in Western Countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that cardiovascular diseases including heart disease and strokes are the world’s top causes of death. Treating growing numbers of patients with heart disease often requires the increased use of cardiac rhythm management devices. 

These devices include pacemakers, cardiac resynchronization therapy devices and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD). Constant product upgrades and technological advancements have kept this sector afloat during the economic crisis, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Despite the demand for more devices, the market isn’t expected to see dramatic growth in the not so distant future. In fact, the analyst firm reports that the industry in the U.S. and Western Europe earned $8.69 billion in 2011 and will expand to only $8.72 billion by 2016.

“Companies that launch an innovative product that addresses end-user concerns will gain significant first-mover advantage,” predicted Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Brahadeesh Chandrasekaran.

Even though doctors are using these devices more often, revenue will remain flat because competition is pushing down prices. In some cases, innovative techniques have rendered some devices totally obsolete.

For example, the technique of cardiac ablation, which prevents cardiac arrhythmia through a series of wires run through the blood vessels and into the heart, has grown more common thanks to advanced imaging capabilities.

These wired devices have captured an increasing market share as electro physiologists devote an estimated 25 percent of their time to the procedure. At the same time, demand for ICDs has decreased because of the popularity of cardiac ablation.

Chandrasekaran pointed out that many cardiac rhythm management device manufacturers are consolidated in the U.S. and Western European markets. This conglomeration meets healthcare providers’ demands for a one-stop storefront for all of their equipment needs.

However, consolidation makes competition difficult for small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses. “International companies can penetrate the European cardiac rhythm management market by establishing partnerships and alliances to distribute or increase their product lines,” Chandrasekaran concluded.

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