By Zachary Bujnoch, Market Analyst
In the cardiac monitoring products and services market there are many key trends, including changes in reimbursement and the challenges posed by market maturity, but the Chest Pain Center Initiative embodies many of the dynamic drivers in this market, such as the need for streamlined workflow and integrated information management. Healthcare providers’ needs have changed as they have strived to adhere to the guidelines set by the Chest Pain Center Association, and the cardiac monitoring market has adapted accordingly.
What’s so important about chest pain?
Chest pain is a significant warning sign for various types of cardiac episodes. Today cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States, as it has been since 1918. CVD encompasses high blood pressure, coronary artery disease (CAD), and stroke. The latest statistics published by the American Heart Association (AHA) show that one out of every three Americans has some form of CVD, with the cost of CVD to the U.S. economy estimated at a staggering $431.8 billion in 2007. Each year in the U.S., more than five million potential patients will enter the hospital with chest pain. Of these, 1.25 million will show symptoms of cardiac distress and 600,000 will die of cardiovascular disease. Advances in the technology used in CVD treatment have greatly reduced mortality, but these treatments are highly time-dependent. Hospitals must treat chest pain patients within 70 minutes of arrival. Nevertheless, in only about 10 to 15 percent of reported chest pain cases is a significant cardiac problem found. Most of these cases are low risk and need to be identified accordingly. This presents a unique challenge for hospitals to not only provide care quickly, but also in a very accurate way, since missed cardiac problems are the most expensive cause of malpractice litigation against emergency centers.