By Lars Thording, VP, Marketing & Public Affairs, Innovative Health
The 29th annual Heart Rhythm Society conference in Boston once again brought together industry players and the clinical community to continue to rapid development in electrophysiology – one of the fastest growing procedure areas in the United States. If you didn’t have the chance to stop by the conference, here is a brief summary:
- The Final Four: Consolidation and large-scale acquisitions have dominated the electrophysiology industry in recent years, so a first impression when walking onto the exhibit floor is the dominance of the four largest industry players, Medtronic, Philips, Biosense Webster (Johnson & Johnson) and Abbott. The other half of the exhibition floor consisted of smaller exhibits where the true innovators of the industry – small start-ups – presented their innovations.
- No Peloton? What was conspicuously absent and somewhat concerning to any healthcare economist was the mid-sized group of companies who, in a healthier industry would be the challengers to the hegemony of the four large players – with new electrophysiology system solutions, groundbreaking new technology or other innovations capable of upsetting the industry. This is generally healthier for the healthcare customer than an oligopoly.
- Impact of Electrophysiology: The perhaps most important observation from the conference, is the enormous importance of progress in electrophysiology of the past few years. Atrial Fibrillation is among the fastest growing disease areas today. Fortunately, the industry as well as clinical science have responded with an impressive rate of innovation and methodology development, to the point where this condition today can be approached curatively through AF Ablation. We owe clinicians and the four large players a debt of gratitude for making this kind of medical progress possible over such a short time-span. The Heart Rhythm Society conference was an opportunity for clinical and technology leaders to continue this dialogue and take it to the next level.