Archived Project

Medical Device Initiative

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Medical devices range from blood glucose test strips and stethoscopes to more complex products, such as pacemakers and joint replacements. These technologies are used in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and patients’ homes to diagnose, treat, or prevent illness. Many people have benefited from such recent advances, and Americans increasingly rely on medical devices.

However, failures of medical devices over past decades have demonstrated the need to more quickly identify problems to help ensure the safety of the public. For example, failing metal-on-metal hip replacements and implantable cardioverter defibrillator leads—used by hundreds of thousands of people to detect and correct abnormal heart rhythms—have led to significant patient harm and deaths in recent years.

Pew’s medical device initiative worked to enhance medical device safety and foster device innovation that benefits patients. Pew’s initiative had three main areas of focus, including:

Pew’s work on related issues continues in the Health Information Technology project.

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Tami Holzman

Officer, Communications

202.552.2122