Cardiology & ECG

Increasing incidences of non-communicable diseases like heart failure in India points towards the potential for cardiology and ECG equipment to rise in the country. Therapeutic devices like coronary stents, peripheral stents, vascular stent grafts, and artificial heart valves will be utilised in more numbers, writes Vivek Ratnakar of Elets News Network (ENN).

Pointing out heart failure as an important global health problem, the reputed medical journal Lancet in a recent study said that India will soon have nearly 60 per cent of the worlds heart patients. The study was aimed at measuring mortality in one year in patients with heart failure in India along with Africa, China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and South America. The researchers also explored demographic, clinical, and socioeconomic variables associated with mortality.

Increasing incidence of noncommunicable diseases like heart failure is a matter of great concern for India owing to the costs associated with it. This adversely impacts financial spending and puts undue strain on the economies of countries like ours. Lower economic groups which have to spend significant amount of their income on heart care will be worst affected.

This points towards the potential for cardiology and ECG equipment to grow in the country. The devices industry in expected to see a technological revolution in the coming decade in India. Equipment utilised for cardiovascular diagnostics include ECG, echocardiography machine, Holter monitor, loop recorders, ambulatory BP instrument, TMT machines, etc. An ECG is the backbone of cardiovascular diagnostics and used in cardiovascular therapeutics at a mass level in our country, said Tapan Ghose, Director and Head, Department of Cardiology, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital.

In keeping with the growth of cardiac diseases, the number of cardiac catheterisation labs is expected to double in coming years, he adds.

He also says that utilisation of implantable defibrillator implantation (ICD), cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT-D and P) utilisation will grow many fold in coming years in India.

Therapeutic devices like coronary stents, peripheral stents, vascular stent grafts, artificial heart valves both (mechanical and bioprosthetic) valves will be utilised in more numbers. Advent of non-surgical technique of TAVR (non surgical aortic valve replacement) is a boon for the heart patients. There is an urgent need to have centres of excellence for this in our country. Structural device therapy is a growing area, according to Ghose.

Sensing the growing demand for affordable cardiology equipment, the government recently put a cap on their prices. Stents are wire-like meshes that are used to remove blocks, largely in the heart.

Innovation and smart technologies are essential to providing solutions that address the rising risks of cardiovascular diseases.

Sustainable development begins with promoting a safe and healthy country. We are entering a significant phase where efforts to prioritise investments in innovation and research are being initiated that can deliver better health and value for money to our patients, says Swaminathan Jayaraman, Chairman and Managing Director, Vascular Concepts Ltd.

Vascular Concepts is a Rs 150-crore Indian company which serves as a global leader in cardiovascular technology. Founded in 1998, it has its corporate headquarters and R&D facility in Bengaluru.

Vascular Concepts designs, develops, manufactures and markets endovascular devices that aid less invasive therapy. It offers its products for the treatment of arterial diseases, which include coronary artery and peripheral vascular diseases.

But not many Indian cardiology equipment manufacturers are well knows as Vascular Concepts is in the global market. Although separate data are not available for cardiology equipment, it too suffers a huge import dependency. It presents a huge challenge for the industry.

The Indian medical device market is fed by MNC importers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), Indian MSMEs and a few mid sized corporations who have faced brutal and unfair competition from their foreign counterparts but still managed to bravely stay afloat.

India-made devices lose out to imported devices due to flawed certification and tendering norms, a skewed market place and an image perception challenge.

At the current rate of 7-8 per cent rate of GDP growth and the governments promise to allocate more funds by increasing GDP spending from 1 to 2.5 per cent in health care sector; increasing number of both government and corporate hospitals, cardiovascular equipment market is poised to see a revolutionary change in coming years.

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