A study published by the European Society of Cardiology indicated that the rate and timing of admissions of patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), a life-threatening type of heart attack, was reduced globally since the Covid-19 outbreak. The European Society of Cardiology administered an internet-based questionnaire to cardiologists and cardiovascular nurses, receiving over 3,000 responses from 141 countries across six continents. Over 60% of responses indicated that the reduction in STEMI presentations was over 40%, and over 40% of STEMI patients admitted to hospital presented beyond the optimal window for minimally invasive treatments such as percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) or thrombolysis.

Prior to the pandemic, GlobalData expected the PCI market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4%. In light of the pandemic, minimally invasive surgeries for urgent care are pushed as a primary treatment where possible, given the shorter recovery times and fewer post-op complications. However, with over 40% of STEMI patients admitted to the hospital beyond the optimal window for interventions, both coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) and PCI procedures are expected to decline. GlobalData expects the number of interventions for patients with angina pectoris (AP) and myocardial infarction (MI), which includes CABG and PCI procedures, to decline by at least 50% in 2020.

Despite seeing a decrease in 2020, GlobalData expects PCI procedures to return to normalcy by the end of the year and volumes in 2021 will be comparable to 2019. Stricter lockdown enforcements may have resulted in changes in patients’ perception of risk and behaviour, such as avoiding emergency departments for fear of acquiring Covid-19, despite the urgent nature of the intervention. As restrictions begin to ease in countries experiencing a decline in the new number of daily cases, PCI procedures will increase. However, a second wave of the pandemic may result in further setbacks in the PCI market.