EU cardiac rhythm management market to reach $7B in 2015
The incidence of cardiovascular disease is causing more than 4.3 million deaths, accounting for 48 percent of all mortalities in Europe, due to factors such as aging, obesity, smoking and other cardiac ailments. As a result, the European cardiac rhythm management (CRM) market offers significant growth potential, according to a report from market research firm Frost & Sullivan.

The approval of implantable CRM therapy for congestive heart failure by means of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices, regulatory approval of advanced technologies such as ablation catheters and cost benefits accrued to the healthcare systems are invigorating the expansion of the CRM market, according to the firm.

The report said that the Western European CRM market earned revenues of $3.4 billion in 2008, and is estimated to reach $7.3 billion in 2015. The following segments are covered in this research: pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, CRTs and ablation catheters and pacing leads.

"Collaborative partnerships, technological innovation and device scalability will determine the future of the European CRM market," said Frost & Sullivan Research Associate Sreevidhya Praveen. "To position a company for future growth, building an effective channel to profitably distribute lower cost equipment to new, emerging users is absolutely essential. At the same time, international manufacturers should aim to establish alliances with smaller participants for the sale and distribution of their products."

The segments of the CRM market are achieving "rapid penetration, indicative of a flourishing space for CRM devices," according to the report. Certain segments such as CRT-pacemakers and leads, while expanding gradually, are still exhibiting a positive growth rate.

Frost & Sullivan said that the CRM market consists of a select few market participants, trying to sell high-cost, life-saving devices. Each manufacturer utilizes bipolar leads, bi-ventricular pacing devices, high rate adaptive pacing, and sophisticated programmers to capture and translate data. The price difference between these devices is fairly marginal.

"The inability of niche participants to distinguish themselves is a characteristic of the market. Without product differentiation, they have been unable to capture the attention of consumers, according to the report

"Each manufacturer strives to introduce its own device features and innovations to differentiate its devices; it essentially amounts to how these devices are perceived in the mind of specialists," Praveen said. "It is critical for companies to brand their technology and establish themselves in the minds of consumers."

Device mortality remains a concern for end users. Battery life is one of the key factors that contribute to device longevity. Trends related to thin-film battery technology and high-energy batteries are positive, auguring well for market prospects.

However, there needs to be greater focus on developing the durability of batteries and the factors that contribute to device longevity. Moreover, manufacturers should continually monitor the market and steadily invest in research and development to promote product innovation and differentiation.