Medical Device Initiative

Copy the URL for use in an RSS reader:

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:

Our Work

View All
  • Unique Device Identifiers Improve Safety and Quality

    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

  • Pew Submits Comments on Medicare Payments Proposal

    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

  • Medicare Still Lacks Crucial Medical Device ID Data

    Under federal policies proposed in January, researchers, medical product innovators, and clinicians will gain unprecedented access to Medicare data that the Obama administration says will facilitate “smarter and more informed” health care decisions. Read More

Media Contact

Linda Paris

Officer, Communications