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 in 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 the past two decades demonstrate 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 seeks to enhance medical device safety and foster device innovation that benefits patients. Pew’s initiative has three main areas of focus, including:
- Improving the current state of medical device registries—databases containing information on patients who use or are treated with a specific device;
- Supporting the adoption of a unique device identification (UDI) system to better track medical devices; and
- Fostering medical device innovation with these and other new approaches without compromising patient safety.
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Patients rely on medical devices to replace failing joints, fix irregular heart rhythms, test blood sugar, diagnose diseases, and improve their health in other ways. While millions of people use these devices on a daily basis, researchers—including those in the federal government and at private organizations—lack an efficient way to track the performance of these products and quickly... Read More
On June 24, Pew submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about the agency’s proposed Merit-Based Incentive Payment System and Alternative Payment Models for eligible clinicians. In its comments, Pew encourages CMS to promote quality palliative and end-of-life care and encourages the collection and exchange of unique device identifier data to enhance... Read More
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