A Look at Medical Technologies Driving Cardiovascular Innovation

This week, the co-chairs of the House Medical Technology Caucus, Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), held a briefing on Treating Cardiovascular Disease: Advancements in Medical Technology Innovation. In order to curb rampant health care spending and stop the nation’s deadliest disease, medical innovation must be cultivated. A panel of experts shared examples of cardiovascular technology innovation that are changing the industry and the way health care is delivered. 

Mayo Clinic was featured for being on the cutting edge of education and research, spending $421 million in these areas in 2011 alone. The system treated over one million patients in 2010 and isn’t stopping there.  Their 2020 vision, “Mayo Everywhere”, involves leveraging over 100 years of excellence and engaging technology to impact patient care globally.  Instead of bringing patients to Rochester, MN for treatment, Mayo is focused on delivering affordable health care to their patients wherever they live. On the horizon is home monitoring, a long-term, non-obtrusive approach that promotes mobility and independence.

Industry representatives described the latest innovations stemming from extensive cardiovascular research and development. The Edwards Lifesciences’ SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve recently emerged as an option for patients with severe stenosis who are either high-risk candidates or inoperable for surgical aortic valve replacement. MitraClip, a Mitral Valve Repair System that EVEREST II deemed safe for patients with moderate to severe mitral regurgitation, was touted as another impactful innovation. However, these industry-changing technologies have had a long road to implementation, with the U.S. 42nd in line for approving the SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve and the MitraClip still in FDA review.

While the U.S. has been a strong force in medical technology, China, Brazil, India and other countries are surpassing the U.S.  in the innovation arena due to the current American policy structure. As several of the panelists conferred, in these changing times America is often the last to benefit from innovation. Rep. Eshoo, a long-time champion for technology and innovation, stressed the need for the U.S. to regain its status as the leader in medical advancement and set the gold standard for the world. She echoed the need for transforming the FDA and other agencies into innovation drivers, versus hindrances, and encourages her congressional colleagues to visit technology companies in order to gain a first-hand perspective of the impact they have on the medical system.

ACC is a steadfast supporter of medical innovation that saves lives, improves quality of care, and reduces health care spending. The College remains on the cutting-edge of innovation by collaborating with partners to advance cardiovascular technologies and track real-world outcomes. ACC’s annual scientific session brings together the latest in cardiovascular innovation through late breaking clinical trials, educational sessions, exposition, networking and much more.

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