The future of healthcare is bright thanks to advances in medical technology. Encompassing everything from bandages and tongue depressors to pacemakers, implantable hips and knees, imaging machines and diagnostics tests, medical technology helps diagnose disease earlier, control chronic conditions and provide innovative health solutions to countless patients while helping to reduce overall healthcare costs.

Because of medical technology, American patients are living longer, more productive lives. Over the past three decades, rapid technological advances have helped increase life expectancy in the U.S. by five years. Mortality rates for major diseases have been reduced significantly: stroke by 59 percent, heart disease by 57 percent and breast cancer by 31 percent. In addition, disability rates have declined by 25 percent over the past 20 years.

A smarter treatment

Retired Sgt. 1st Class Justin Minyard embodies the value medical technology provides. A decorated 13-year veteran who was a 9/11 first responder and who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, Minyard suffered from debilitating chronic pain from multiple back injuries sustained during his service. He has found lasting relief through a spinal cord stimulator, an implantable device that stops the brain from receiving pain signals.

Medical technology provides these incredible benefits while helping to keep overall healthcare costs under control. For the last 20 years, medical technology has consistently accounted for only 6 percent of national health expenditures, and medical technology prices have increased less than one-quarter the rate of prices for other medical goods and services.

The promise of tomorrow

"While there have been some amazing innovations in the last few decades, tomorrow’s breakthroughs promise to be even more spectacular."

But while there have been some amazing innovations in the last few decades, tomorrow’s breakthroughs promise to be even more spectacular. The epidemic of diabetes could be cured with the advent of the artificial pancreas. Harnessing the mapping of the human genome, molecular diagnostics will allow treatments to be tailored to individual patients’ needs. And nanotechnology will treat disease on the molecular level.

Our healthcare system faces many challenges now and in the future. But whatever the challenge, medical technology will provide the solution, delivering life-changing innovations to patients at great value.