由 Kathy Mahdoubi
, Senior Correspondent | March 04, 2010
This report originally appeared in the February 2010 issue of DOTmed Business News
The World Health Organization reports that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally, with more than 17.1 million lives claimed by these diseases every year. From this perspective, the catheterization and angiography suite is one of the most important areas within the hospital. Here, physicians conduct an astonishing range of procedures, from the diagnostic and interventional to the therapeutic, to treat everything from arrhythmias and congenital and arteriosclerotic heart and vascular disease to pathologies entirely outside the cardiovascular arena, including cancer, osteoporosis, uterine fibroids, and lung and liver disease.
As in practically every other sector of the industry, new angio cath lab sales have suffered as a result of recent economic upsets, but procedure volumes continue to grow, and radiologists, surgeons and cardiologists are hashing out where one domain ends and others begin in this very competitive environment.
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"I've been working in different positions directly or indirectly related to cardiovascular X-ray for the past eight years," says Richard Fabian, vice president of X-ray Philips North America. "It is an interesting modality. CV X-ray really spans six different market segments. That's what makes it so complex to understand."
The referred to segments that comprise cardiovascular X-ray include cardiology, electrophysiology, interventional radiology, interventional neuroradiology, surgery and hybrid OR, and pediatrics. It takes a lot of expertise and organization to keep it running smoothly.
Procedures pick up the pace
According to a 2008/09 market analysis of interventional angiography by research group IMV, angio procedures are growing at about 4 to 5 percent annually in hospitals with more than a 150-bed count. In 2008, about 4.8 million angio procedures took place in 1,720 angio labs throughout the U.S., and that number has grown markedly - by about 20 percent - since 2004. Other research groups are indicating an increase in interventional oncology procedures, as well.
"I would say the biggest trend we are seeing is the trend toward less invasive treatments," says Rob Dewey, senior director for product marketing, cardiology and hybrid OR for Siemens. "A lot of these are associated with very significant clinical outcomes - from a quality of life perspective, the procedure is a lot shorter, the recovery time is significantly less and the cost is lower. Is the treatment more effective? Typically you need years of data to really support that."