The unprecedented COVID-19 has fundamentally shifted society’s and government’s attention and prioritisation of healthcare. Never has health topped our agenda as much as today – as an individual trying to stay healthy, as healthcare professional and facility trying to deliver a high quality of care, as industry trying to deliver the best innovations to improve care, or as government are working to sustain healthcare system at large.
Now that we are a few months into the management of the pandemic, we have had to learn the hard way that COVID-19 has unfortunately had significant implications on the cardiovascular care of patients.
Not only have we learned that those living with pre-existing cardiovascular diseases who contract COVID-19 are at an increased risk of health deterioration and death: 65% of all COVID-19 deaths recorded were associated with a cardiovascular comorbidity.
With such startling figures, the treatment of cardiovascular patients should continue to top the priority list for care so that we can prevent avoid further deterioration in health or even death. However, we have seen the opposite happen as we have witnessed severe disruptions in care for these patients since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a 50% decrease in the number of people presenting themselves at hospitals and other healthcare facilities, with symptoms of heart-related symptoms.
So whilst we are still fighting the pandemic, let us take the occasion of World Heart Day today to remind us of the importance of the prevention, detection and early diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, as well as the efficient management when they occur.
With European and national recovery and resilience plans in the making, governments have a unique opportunity and responsibility to craft investments in healthcare in a way that makes the system more sustainable, equitable and efficient. Many healthcare solutions – whether they are minimally invasive technologies that enable cardiovascular patients to get treated and discharged more rapidly, or digital solutions for health and care which promote health and prevent disease, are not readily accessible yet, or suffer from slow and unequal uptake across Europe. Yet these are the type of innovations that can improve care and reduce the burden on the healthcare system.
We, as Medtech industry specialised in cardiovascular innovations, have solutions at hand that can lighten the burden of COVID-19. Now, it is key that we all partner to reach as many people as possible so that they seek diagnosis, and ultimately have access to the right and best treatment for them.