Cardiovascular disease (or heart disease) effects hundreds of thousands of people a year - according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it accounts for 25% (or 1 in 4) of all deaths in the nation.
It's the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US, and worldwide, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year, nearly 400 000 of which occur within the United States alone. While there have been many advances in care, prevention and education, experts are still concerned that that number could grow as time goes on. Cardiovascular refers to several different types of heart conditions and, despite popular belief, can effect anyone - even children. Without proper care, severe cardiac arrest stemming from heart disease is almost always fatal, but in many cases could have been prevented and that's where the future of medicine in the United States lies.
When you consider that the direct and indirect costs of cardiovascular diseases and stroke have cost more than $320.1 billion, largely in health care costs and lost productivity, it needs to be addressed as not only a serious health issue, but an economic one. In the last few years, prevention has become a business of its own and has helped launch the biotech and medical device industries into top sectors of growth. The medical field overall has always been an excellent sector for growth, which is why Forbes magazine calls biotechnology specifically "one of the last great frontiers for retail investors". Jim Mellon, an author and investor, predicted a biotech rush in 2012, saying "The single biggest trend to affect mankind is here, and there are fortunes to be made." and he wasn't wrong - a British Biotech Growth Trust showed an increase of over 200% in just three years. While it's a rich worldwide industry, North America shows strong leading numbers when it comes to biotech breakthroughs, medical technology and overall growth. The global medical device market, according to VisionGain, is expected to reach $398 billion in 2017 and already generated $321 billion in 2012. The industry, already thriving, is still ripe with opportunities - the market for cardiac biomarker diagnostic tests is projected to be $7.2 billion by 2018, in which $1.16 billion is expected to be served by Point of Care devices alone.
With a higher emphasis on prevention and hand-held technology, ZenoSense bursts onto the market with a product that could change the face global diagnostics as we know it.
ZenoSense is a biotechnology company that is developed a patented cardiovascular disease screening device that accurately identifies heart attacks and those at high risk. While most Point of Care tests and laboratories only make use of optical technology (which can only detect 30% of magnetic nanoparticles required for diagnosis), ZenoSense's MIDS technology uses both customized optical sensors and highly sensitive, miniature "Hall Effect" magnetic sensors. Making use of test strips as a Lab-On-Chop device, it can detect extremely low levels of magnetic field disturbances, thus effectively identifying the signature of discrete particles, which produces substantially more accurate test results. What particularly makes their MIDS technology not just blockbuster, but key, is the speed in which it can produce those results, as well as accurately measuring troponin I and T and other key cardiac markers. Existing Point of Care devices, while being praised for their convenience and portability, are not accurate or reliable enough to definitively exclude acute myocardial infarction (AMI). While the most accurate tests are currently done on slow, exceedingly expensive laboratory analyzers, it's ZenoSense's goal to match or even exceed the current "gold standard" of high-sensitivity cardiac assays and to help prevent the growing number of cardiovascular disease deaths. ZenoSense [OTC: ZENO] is currently a publicly listed company.
Medical device and biotechnology is a rising industry, and the last few years have proven this with a myriad of successes.
From December 31st 2004 to December 31st 2014, the largest biotech company ETF in the world (the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF) enjoyed an annual total return of 15.1%, while the S&P 500 Index 7.7% per year over the same period of time. A Switzerland based company, Actelion Ltd. saw it's share price increase 6.2% year to date while focusing on pulmonary arterial hypertension products. In a similar vein, CorMedix Inc. has been developing therapeutic products for the prevention and treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases and has seen their stock escalate 19.7% year to date. With just a handful of examples, it's clear that biotech has cemented it's place among investment opportunities that can be counted on.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.