Better, Cheaper Technology Sparks Cardiac Monitoring Growth

The markets for cardiac monitoring products have been mature in most parts of the world for more than a decade, although technological enhancement and demographic changes have created opportunities for monitor manufacturers.

Cardiac Monitoring Market 

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. According to the World Heart Federation, it accounts for 30% of all deaths every year—an estimated 17.3 million. The demand for cardiac monitoring products for diagnostics is driven by the increasing prevalence of CVD due to urbanization with greater exposure to pollution and stress, lifestyle changes such as consumption of high-calorie foods and less exercise, and genetic issues such as long QT syndrome and catecholaminergic plymorphic ventricular tachycardia.

The markets for cardiac monitoring products including resting ECGs, stress ECGs, and Holter monitors have been mature in most parts of the world for more than a decade, although technological enhancement and demographic changes have created opportunities for monitor manufacturers.

Next-Generation Devices Focus on Miniaturization, Faster Processing and Connectivity 

The cardiac monitoring products industry is witnessing a paradigm shift. Devices are becoming smaller and more affordable, and workflows are becoming more efficient because of faster processing time, wireless capabilities, and algorithms for clinical accuracy. The use of application-specific integrated circuit designs for portability, signal filtering and acquisition of ECG patterns that can be linked to smartphones and wearables is expected to increase. 

The cost of health care continues to increase in the industrialized world, and will prompt a marked shift from traditional secondary or tertiary care to prediction, diagnosis, and monitoring. This shift resulted in the invention of wireless, sensor-based cardiac monitors that provide real-time electric conduction for the heart, and will spur even more technological advances.

Interoperability and Wireless Technology to Enhance Real-Time, Remote Monitoring

Wireless technology will connect cardiac diagnostic equipment to a central platform for real-time monitoring on a secure, high-speed network. The platform will help providers detect, respond to, and even predict events. The line between bedside and remote monitoring will further blur as the gap between specialists (supply) and patients (demand) grows: Doctors will have to become more efficient as they manage more patients.

Transition of Care Delivery from Hospital to Home 

The conventional model of cardiac diagnostics in a hospital setting is changing. A key driver of this change is spiraling health care costs. Health care organizations are confronting a lack of resources caused by a growing aging population in need of care, budgetary constraints compounded by government cutbacks, and management pressure to reduce hospital stays by introducing novel care delivery methods in the home and other non-institutional settings. A host of public-private partnerships are expected to emerge in the next decade to offer efficient, effective, and profitable solutions for home and long-term care. 

As more physicians encourage patients to use portable devices at home, cardiac monitoring equipment manufacturers will have to offer innovative products and services—including end-user training—to leverage this opportunity or be left behind. 

Cardiac Monitoring Products 

A successful cardiac monitor solution can reduce or eliminate recurring hospitalization and its costs. This has driven the development of innovative technologies.

Medicomp of Melbourne, Fla., developed the TelePatch ambulatory cardiac monitoring device, which is battery-powered for up to seven days and integrates fingertip electrodes.

Medtronic Inc. of Minneapolis, Minn., developed its SEEQ Mobile Cardiac Telemetry system to serve as an adhesive wearable device that can detect and diagnose irregular heartbeats in patients for up to 30 days. For long-term use, Medtronic’s Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitoring System monitor patient heartbeats for up to 3 years. The device is approximately 1 centimeter to minimize invasiveness, and is programmed with smart detection algorithms to analyze data faster. 

Preventice Services in Houston, Tex., designed its dual-component BodyGuardian® Remote Monitoring System to provide ambulatory ECG and average heart rate for arrhythmias that include atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, pause and tachycardia, and to record and transmit periodic ECG at pre-set intervals.

What’s the Future?

Health care service providers are in dire need of solutions that will improve physician-patient closer communication to provide better medical outcomes and reduce health care costs. Cardiac monitoring systems close the communication gap by providing accurate and timely data and analysis to clinicians and reducing patient inconvenience. These capabilities will result in strong market grow globally in the coming decade. 

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