It is hardly a surprise that as people get old, health complications and disease become a far greater risk. Yet it may come as a shock to some, just how many people are impacted by one of the leading causes of death in the United States from as early as in their 40s. It is estimated that about half of Americans between ages 45 and 84 have atherosclerosis and don’t know it.

The disease is a common condition that develops when plaque builds up inside arteries. It develops slowly as cholesterol, fat, blood cells, and other substances in the blood form plaque, and when it progresses, calcium. When this plaque builds up, it causes arteries to narrow, reducing the supply of oxygen-rich blood to tissues of vital organs in the body.

While there are many treatments such as angioplasty and drug-coated balloons, bare metal and drug-eluting stents, many of them suffer from a range of complications from acute failure, damage to blood vessels, or even conversion to bypass surgery.

ShockWave Medical is changing all that with what it believes can become the safest, most effective means of addressing the growing challenge of cardiovascular calcification. ShockWave is aiming to establish a new standard of care for the treatment of atherosclerosis through the use of sonic pressure waves to break down calcified plaque. The system, known as intravascular lithotripsy (IVL) is a minimally invasive, easy-to-use, and safe way to significantly improve patient outcomes.

The ground-breaking technology has seen sales increase rapidly following the Center for Medicare Services recently authorizing reimbursement for the IVL treatment, as a result, the company is continuing to exceed and upgrade revenue guidance. Coupled with burgeoning penetration among U.S. hospitals, expansion into foreign markets, and the development of new product lines, ShockWave has an enormous potential market across several indications.