Thursday, March 28, 2013

ECG management system market expands as hospitals; integrate cardiology into IT systems

ENGLAND: The global market for electrocardiogram (ECG) management systems is expected to rise by 18 percent from 2011 to 2016 as hospitals strive to increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve diagnoses by connecting these ECG devices to  a centralized database.

Worldwide ECG management system market revenue is set to increase to $139 million by 2016, up from $118 million in 2011, according to “The World Market for Diagnostic Cardiology Devices and Remote Cardiac Monitoring Services – 2012,” a new report by InMedica, recently acquired by IHS.

ECG management systems automate the processing, storage and distribution of ECG, Holter and stress data.

“The rise of ECG plays a key role in hospitals’ efforts to centralize diagnosis into their information technology (IT) systems,” said Nicola Goatman, analyst, clinical care devices, for IHS. “While other medical disciplines have rapidly adopted IT integration, the cardiology diagnosis market has been lagging. This is changing as hospitals place increasing importance on IT integration to streamline cardiology workflows.”

DICOM throws a lifeline
The medical imaging standard known as Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) is playing a key role in integrating ECG management. ECG management systems are increasingly required to interact with larger Cardiovascular Information Management Systems (CVIS) and Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS).

“DICOM enables ECG management systems to be connected to a larger centralized system, resulting in improved diagnosis and patient management,” Goatman said.

DICOM is making especially strong progress in the developed markets of North America and Western Europe.

Indeed, the emergence of DICOM in the North American market indicates that cardiology is moving toward a complete management system as seen in radiology, where all data is able to be stored in PACS.

ECG gains momentum in new regions
In the Western European market, uptake of ECG management systems has been strongest in the Nordics, Benelux and Germany, all areas where utilization of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) is more advanced. With these regions focused on the digitalization of healthcare and centralizing diagnosis, ECG management systems play an important role.

Further growth in the EMEA market is driven by the uptake of systems in Eastern Europe and the Middle East-Africa region. In these areas, there is a key trend to align healthcare provisions with Western countries, resulting in efforts to centralize and organize those provisions and reduce expenditures.

Heart of the matter
“The diagnostic cardiology market hopes to increase workflow efficiency and cut the time spent by patients within hospitals,” Goatman said.

“As a result, hospitals are now developing systems to manage cost containment, focusing on patient throughput and reduced waiting times. In such scenarios, the uptake of ECG management systems will play a vital role in centralizing healthcare provisions.”

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

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