HRS 2011: What's Hot, What's Not, in AF Ablation
Presenters at a day-long AF Symposium held just prior to this year's Heart Rhythm Society meeting lamented the disappointing long-term results with AF ablation and spoke about upcoming technological advances in catheters and adjunctive tools that may improve the procedure's efficacy and durability.
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Groundbreaking new mapping technologies could shift the future direction of the $2.5 billion AF ablation market, as evidenced by presentations at this year’s HRS and EUROPACE meetings; with some compelling clinical data now on the books, the electrophysiologists who perform AF ablation are taking notice, as are investors and strategics operating in this space. Emerging companies at the heart of this shift include Topera Medical, CardioInsight Technologies, and Acutus Medical.
The prospective medical device tax, the continuing decline of venture investing, pricing challenges, austerity measures in Europe, and other headwinds continued to push against the medtech industry in 2012. But emerging clinical and geographic markets, along with an active M&A market, provided the industry with some momentum.
Device therapies for atrial fibrillation (AF) have so far failed to result in compelling efficacy across all types of disease and patients. The rates of elimination of AF following a catheter ablation procedure range from 30% to 80% according to the type of patient and the definition of success. The question of why success rates aren’t yet sufficient after a great deal of investment is an area of active pursuit, and one that opens up the door for next-generation AF device companies seeking to improve upon the results achieved to date.