Market for tiny heart-monitoring devices driven by less invasive procedures

Vendors are responding to the rise in heart rhythm disorders with ever-smaller devices and materials more compatible with the body, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan. 

These smaller devices, with improved features and capabilities, improve patient comfort and reduce mortality, the report's authors say. Implantable pacemakers and cardioverter defibrillators, as well as cardiac resynchronization therapy have improved physicians' diagnostic capabilities.

"The new technology allows clinicians to monitor patients continuously without needing frequent office visits, in turn lowering the burden of follow-up care," Frost & Sullivan research analyst Darshana De said in an announcement. "Further evolution of CRM [cardiac rhythm management] technology encourages the use of home-based healthcare devices that provide improved safety to patients."

The report projects a growing market with aging baby boomers and sedentary lifestyles that contribute to obesity and diabetes. Their high cost puts a damper on their market prospects, however, as do recent recalls and device-related deaths.

Startups in the market are finding it difficult to compete with key players, though, leading Frost & Sullivan to urge they team up on sales and distribution.

"Overall, CRM is a growing market with ablation catheters, ICDs, and CRT- defibrillator devices showing high potential," De said.

The "transient electronics" being created at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are among the interesting innovations under way in implantable devices. These devices, made of biodegradable components, are designed to perform important work inside the body--then dissolve.

Swiss researchers, meanwhile, have created a small wireless device that turns a smartphone into a heart monitor, while the Mayo Clinic is working on a wireless body monitor called Body Guardian to monitor irregular heart rhythms.

Remote monitoring continues to grow in importance with federal pressure to reduce readmission rates. The Central Indiana Beacon Community recently reported reducing readmissions to 3 percent, thanks to remote monitoring and videoconferencing between nurses and discharged hospital patients with congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

To learn more:
- read the announcement


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