Cardiac assist devices are those which are used to allow a patient with heart disease to lead a normal life. These devices are generally implanted in a person’s body through a surgery and they support the heart’s ability to pump blood and continue its function. Examples of such devices are pacemakers,cardioverter defibrillators, VADs, hemopumps and Impellas, etc.
Market for Cardiac Assist Devices
Increase in global aging population, rising cases of cardiac diseases, technological advancements, lack of donor hearts for transplantationand development of minimally invasive devices are a few market driving factors for the cardiac assist devices. The global market for cardiac assist devices was evaluated at USD 1.3 Billion in 2015 and is expected to climb to USD 1.9 Billion by 2020 rising at CAGR of 8.43%.
North America dominates the global market with the largest share because of highest cases of heart failure which is followed by high awareness, technological advancements and reimbursements because of healthcare policies.
Uses of various Cardiac Assist Devices
- Pacemaker: Placed in the upper chest with wires connected to the heart, to treat slow heart rate. This device monitors the heart rate and sends minute electrical impulses to the heart. Jolted from the impulse the heart beats faster and the heart rate increases.
- Cardioverterdefribillator: Also placed in the upper chest with wires connected to the heart, but to treat faster than usual heart rate. It delivers a shock impulse to the heart to slow the heart rate if it is above normal.
- Ventricular Assist Device: It is a mechanical pump. When a ventricle of heart (generally left) stops working properly, a VAD has to be attached to the ventricle to supply blood through the body. It includes a pump that is attached to the heart, an external controller, a cable to connect the pump with controller and a power source to run the device.
- ECMO: It is used to oxygenate a person’s blood outside the body.Blood is passedthrough an artificial lung that oxygenates it and removes carbon dioxide then its temperature is raised to body temperature and pumped back into the patient’s body.
- Hemopump: It is used to support a failing heart.The Hemopump device draws blood from the left ventricle and then passes it through the aorta. It is used in conditions such as cardiogenic shock and heart failure due to a reason like cardiopulmonary bypass.
Though the cardiac assist devices can keep a person alive in the case of a heart failure and can even let him lead a normal life, there are various risks attached with using such devices. The hemopump for example if used at maximum capacity can lead to complete collapse of the ventricles or the VAD includes the risk of formation of blood clots or infection at the site where the wires enter the body. We should use such devices, but only with proper caution.