An electrophysiology (EP) laboratory is an operating room or a theatre equipped with high-tech equipment used in the treatment of cardiovascular problems such as arrhythmia, fibrillation, congestive heart failure and stroke among others. EP lab offers patients the opportunity to have their arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, tested, diagnosed and treated. An irregular heartbeat can lead to heart complications, fatigue, congestive heart failure or stroke. The EP lab focuses on the electrical function of the heart and treats various conditions on the spot.
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Cardiac mapping can map and detect specific electrical activity of the heart in real time. Any electric irregularities can be immediately diagnosed and potentially treated. Ablation studies can identify a patient’s electrophysiological weaknesses and diagnose diseases to provide suitable preventive measures. This non-surgical, minimally invasive process involves threading a small catheter into the heart. Electric impulses are studied and then potentially blocked or treated to create a regular rhythm in the heart.
Defibrillator implantation are for those with a dangerously irregular heart rhythm and a very high risk of cardiac death. In such cases, cardiologists may choose to implant a defibrillator. This device can detect a dangerous rhythm and shock the heart back into regular pace. The device is implanted into a small incision near the heart and connected electrically to the heart. Cardiac electrophysiology assists the diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias which causes abnormal electrical activities in heart.
According to World Health Organization, around 17.5 million people die every year due to cardiovascular diseases. It is expected that, by 2030 about 23 million people may die each year due to cardiovascular diseases. This increasing prevalence of cardiac diseases is expected to boost the electrophysiology market as more and more patients will need medical attention. The prevalence of cardiac diseases is higher in developing nations.
With the potential of 12 million atrial fibrillation patients by the year 2050 and improvements in technology for atrial fibrillation ablation therapy, significant growth is predicted for the number of hospitals building electrophysiology labs. It is estimated that there are about 2,000 electrophysiology labs in the U.S. and 2,000 electrophysiology labs outside the U.S., each with an electrophysiology recording system costing an average of approximately $250,000.
Since past few decades cardiovascular disease prevalence is rising in populated countries such as China and India. Thus indicating a large market in Asia-Pacific in near future. Mobile and modular EP labs are a growing demand due to rise in emergency medicine and unmet on-field military applications. The market for electrophysiology devices is also expected to benefit due to quick adoption of ablation techniques for treating atrial fibrillation. As the technology advances, patients are exposed to less radiation, making it diagnosis and treatment safer for patients.
Currently University of Rochester Medical Centre, Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute, London Bridge Hospital and many others are equipped with electrophysiology laboratory set-up. Corporates are continuously trying to acquire market share in this competitive market. In August 2013, St. Jude acquired Switzerland based Endosense. The deal was valued at USD 331 million, where St. Jude will gain access to TactiCath technology.
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In November 2013, Boston Scientific completed acquisition of C.R. Bard’s electrophysiology business. Other players in the market include Philips Healthcare, Medtronic, Inc., and GE Healthcare.
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