Technological improvements spur growth in the European cardiovascular monitoring market

London 01 March 2004Europe trails the United States and Japan as the third largest regional market for cardiovascular monitoring equipment. In 2003, it generated revenues worth $111,9 million. Driven by technological advances and product replacements, the European market is poised to expand to $133,1 million in 2009. Similar to the United States, the cardiovascular monitoring market in Europe is well established. Growth is expected to be sustained by technological enhancements that promote greater user friendliness, improved networking and communication capabilities of the equipment and offer greater cost-efficiencies, according to Frost & Sullivan research.

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Today, data integration capabilities are a critical aspect of cardiovascular monitoring systems. Latest advances include universal standards or XML-based storage and export capabilities. At the same time, innovative products are leveraging the potential of PC-based devices to provide multiple modalities and ECG data management competencies.

"These technological upgrades are welcomed by customers such as hospitals, facing increased nursing and resource-related constraints. They also help to fuel demand in a market with increased price sensitivity and longer replacement cycles", noted Healthcare Analyst Seemeen Mirza from Frost & Sullivan.

As the European population ages, there is likely to be a corresponding growth in ECG usage. The financial burden imposed by increased ECG procedures is expected to highlight the need for cost-effective cardiovascular monitoring solutions. As a key user of home health care systems, Europe's ageing population is also anticipated to stimulate demand for ambulatory ECG monitoring devices.

Cost containment pressures are underlining the trend towards outpatient facilities where costs are typically lower compared to hospital-based health care services. In turn, sales of middle tier or clinic-type ECG systems are rising. This trend is being reinforced by the heightened price sensitivity and relatively greater saturation of the hospital market. Growth opportunities are therefore shifting from large hospitals to clinics.

Such positive trends notwithstanding, the global economic downturn has shrunk investments in medical devices while constraining health care expenditures. "The cost-containment pressures have been felt by end users in hospitals and clinics alike. This is particularly true in the case of sophisticated high-tech equipment", remarked Ms. Mirza. "End users have prolonged the period of replacement for majority of the expensive medical devices, including cardiovascular monitoring equipment. There is increased price sensitivity in the market. End users are demanding more features at a lower cost, even in the case of replacement sales", she added.

For the 20 companies active in the market, including large multinational companies such as GE Medical Systems, Schiller, Philips Medical Systems, Del Mar Reynolds Medical and Quinton Cardiology Systems, and medium and small sized companies such as Getemed AG, Esaote Biomedica, Fukuda Denshi, Mortara Instruments, Nihon Kohden, Siemens Medical and Welch Allyn, this requires a calibrated response.

A focus on product range, functionality such as data management and compatibility capabilities, flexibility, ability to network and communicate with other systems, ease-of-use and reliability coupled with competitive prices are likely to be crucial to success. Manufacturers would also do well to capitalise on emerging opportunities in Eastern Europe. As these countries begin to establish basic health care systems, increased demand for medium to low-priced cardiovascular monitoring equipment is expected to result.

All five segments of the European cardiovascular monitoring equipment market - resting ECG monitoring equipment, ECG data management systems, ECG stress testing systems, Holter monitoring systems and event monitoring systems - are forecast to experience growth. The resting ECG monitoring equipment is expected to be largest segment in revenue terms. This segment is likely to amass $50,6 million in 2009. The ECG data management systems is expected to be the fastest growing segment with an annual average growth rate of 8,3 percent till 2009.

Mounting demand for efficient information integration cross-functionally across the hospital organisation is projected to drive expansion of the ECG data management systems segment. The persistent need for effective data management in the face of growing volumes of ECG data is likely to provide long-term impetus to market development.

If you are interested in an analysis overview providing summary, challenges and latest coverage of the World Cardiovascular Monitoring Equipment Markets, you can send an e-mail to Katja Feick, Public Relations Manager at Frost & Sullivan with the following information: Full name, Company Name, Title, Contact Telephone Number, and e-mail. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be e-mailed to you.


Leslie Versweyveld

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