Americans afflicted with cardiovascular diseases like cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia and arteriosclerosis are expected to drive demand for devices that can treat and diagnose these often chronic conditions.
“The aging of the population and the near epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes even in the younger population will prolong this trend and sustain potential in this market for a long time to come,” said Kenneth Krul, author of a cardiovascular devices market report from Kalorama Information.
Here’s a look at five companies in the cardiology treatment and diagnostics space that you may be hearing more about in the years to come.
AUM Cardiovascular: This Minnesota company is developing a noninvasive hand-held device to assess the risk of coronary heart disease. The company was founded by Marie Johnson, who previously worked as director of the University of Minnesota’s Medical Devices Center Fellows Program. The company’s stethoscope system records acoustic data that originates from the fourth, left intercostal space in a patient’s heart. Powered by a proprietary algorithm, software crunches the information to determine whether the patient’s arteries are clogged with plaque.
CircuLite: Developer of what it calls the smallest surgically implanted blood pump for long-term use in heart failure patients, CircuLite made headlines late last year when it announced a $30 million series D round of investment. The device is about the size of an AA battery and is implanted in a minimally invasive procedure. CircuLite is expecting to secure the CE Mark soon and recently announced the successful implantation in its 51st patient in a clinical trial.
HeartFlow: Redwood City, California-based HeartFlow has developed technology that incorporates high-performance computing and computed tomography (CT) technology to provide a noninvasive method of helping physicians diagnose coronary artery disease. The company’s technology gauges fractional flow reserve, a measure of blood pressure and flow through a specific part of the coronary artery, which is currently measured with an invasive procedure that uses a guidewire. A July 2011 article in Medical Devices Today said the company was “on the verge of receiving CE mark approval,” but that doesn’t appear to have happened yet.
CardioKinetix: This company has developed a transcatheter implant called the Parachute to treat heart failure patients. The device is implanted within a patient’s left ventricle and partitions the damaged heart muscle, and isolates the nonfunctional muscle segment from the functional segment, which helps to restore normal function. The company recently hired a new CEO and received expanded CE Mark approval for two additional sizes of the Parachute device.
CardiaLen: St. Louis, Missouri-based CardiaLen is developing a low-energy implantable device that would provide pain-free cardioversion therapy for patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation (AF). No implantable cardioverter that focuses primarily on AF is currently available because it hasn’t previously been possible to achieve painless cardioversion, according to the company. CardiaLen thinks its low-voltage technology can fill that void. In its most recent public statement, the company said it was raising funds to prepare for its first clinical studies.