Sensing the State of the CRM Market
After years of steady single-digit growth, the cardiac rhythm management market was jump-started this decade by the expansion of implantable cardioverter defibrillators and the development of cardiac resynchronization therapy devices. Those products drove annual growth rates above 20%. But in 2005, this growth came to a screeching halt due to product recalls and other safety issues. To address these concerns, CRM manufacturers are working with the FDA and the Heart Rhythm Society to restore the trust of both implanting physicians and the patient community.
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The recent proliferation of smart phones and mobile apps has put everything from face-to-face meetings to comparison shopping into the palms of our hands. Wireless technology is changing the way we communicate and do business, and proponents say it could soon have a similar game-changing impact on health care. Indeed, hundreds of mobile health apps are already available for relatively simple tasks such as logging and tracking blood pressure measurements, caloric intake, and sleep habits, but this is only the beginning of what could be a pervasive and increasingly sophisticated technology trend in the years ahead.
In the years since the dawn of the ICD era in the 1980s, perhaps four expansions of the implantable cardioverter defibrillator have captured the imagination of electrophysiologists and signaled unqualified success for the major manufacturers of these life-saving devices. Now, a new generation of ICD--the S-ICD or totally subcutaneous ICD--has the potential to join those sophisticated devices as the next truly evolutionary development in the field. Interest in the S-ICD picked up steam this spring in Denver at the 31st annual scientific sessions of the Heart Rhythm Society, where researchers presented the latest clinical results with the device.
Recent advances in patient monitoring technology present a number of opportunities for remote monitoring and self-monitoring of patients outside the clinical setting. While the data captured during real-life situations is of value, not every segment of the health care market is rushing to embrace the latest technology advances in this area, for a variety of reasons. In particular, the market for implantable cardiac rhythm devices sticks out as an area where many physicians (and manufacturers as well) are simply not sure how to utilize all the data that could be harvested via the latest remote monitoring technology.