Zoll Medical Corp. got the green light from the Food & Drug Administration to market another generation of the company’s LifeVest product.
Officials said the LifeVest 4000 series is the fourth generation of a wearable defibrillator the Chelmsford-based company first introduced in 2002. The device monitors for arrhythmic conditions and provides an emergency defibrillation to patients who have suffered a major heart attack and may require further surgical intervention, such as having an implantable defibrillator procedure.
Zoll CEO Richard Packer told MassDevice that the $1.8 billion potential market for the product and lack of competition makes the LifeVest one of the company’s most promising product lines for the future.
“I think the LifeVest (by itself) has the potential to be as big a part of Zoll as the rest of Zoll is today,” he said. “I think it will be a very significant part of the company.”
Recent sales numbers seem to back up Packer’s claim. According to the company’s latest quarterly earnings report LifeVest revenues increased 58 percent to $11.9 million during the three month period ended June 30, compared to $7.5 million for the same period last year.
And Zoll is throwing its muscle behind the LifeVest to increase adoption.
Packer said the company is in the process of more than doubling the LifeVest sales force. At the end of the quarter, Packer said the company had about 65 salespeople in the field and that he expects the company will hire an additional 20 by the end of 2009, with a goal of having 120 sales people in the field selling the LifeVest.
He added that the latest generation of the LifeVest, which has some upgraded electronics and is “easier to interact with,” would work interchangeably with earlier generations on the market and that there would be no need to offer rebates or other sweeteners to get customers to upgrade. He explained that currently patients rent the LifeVest and it is considered a piece of durable medical equipment.
There are more than 17,000 patients who have been fitted with the device to date, according to the company.