Transforming lives through medical innovation

According to a new report released by the American Cancer Society, deaths from cancer dropped 27% over the past 25 years, meaning an estimated 2.6 million fewer people died of the disease during that period. Researchers credit long-running efforts to reduce smoking, as well as advances in detection and treatment of cancer at earlier stages, when prognosis for recovery is generally better, for this tremendous achievement.

This is excellent news for patients and their family members, caregivers and others impacted by cancer. It’s also good news for medical technology innovators who work tirelessly to provide physicians with the best tools to diagnose and treat patients with cancer and other life-threatening conditions.

Through the passionate works of countless innovators, engineers and physicians, combined with major investments in research and development, there are more than 193,000 different medical devices currently available and in use in the United States benefiting tens of millions of Americans every day. As a result, patients are living longer, more productive lives.

In fact, since 1980, medical technology has helped add five years to US life expectancy and since the turn of the 20th Century, U.S. life expectancy  has risen from 47 years to 78 years.

Additionally, between 1980 and 2010, advanced medical technology has helped reduce patient recovery time dramatically, cutting the number of days patients spend in hospitals by 59 percent.

The HealthCare Institute of New Jersey reported in its overview of  The Value of Medical Innovation that “collectively, new therapies have been among the greatest contributors to increased life expectancy over the past century.” And “The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology” in 2012 reported that innovative medicines had played a “profound role” in this impressive life-expectancy progress.

Despite decades of undeniable benefits, some are unfortunately undertaking a scurrilous campaign to stoke fear in the minds of patients that medical devices are unsafe and should not be used. This vocal minority includes the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and others with a clear agenda.

The truth is, virtually every single person in the country has benefited from the advancement of medical technologies which aid in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of various conditions to enhance quality of life.

These statistics on medical technology and innovations are promising, and just some of the many highlights to be touted. But the future looks even brighter. Every day, teams of innovators go to labs across the country to research and develop the next generation of medicines, therapies, devices, technologies and more. With a growing pipeline of new devices from medical technology innovators and the right policies in place, the future for patient care will continue to be bright and full of hope.



The Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) is a national trade association based in Washington, DC providing educational and advocacy assistance to innovative and entrepreneurial medical technology companies. Since 1992, MDMA has been the voice for medical technology innovation, playing a proactive role in helping to shape policies that impact the ecosystem. This is accomplished by working with key Members of Congress, senior staff at FDA, CMS and other agencies, and through the grassroots support of our members.