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Top Health Care Economists and Physician-Innovators Discuss Value of Medical Technology at AdvaMed 2007 Conference
Date:10/2/2007

AdvaMed's First-Ever Medical Technology Conference Brings Together Policy and Innovation Experts

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A panel of leading health care economists and physician-innovators today highlighted the benefits of advanced medical technology for improving patient care and helping to reduce health care costs. The panel session, entitled "Value of Medical Technology: Innovation, Patients, Society," was part of AdvaMed 2007, the premier medical technology conference and exhibition for business leaders, policymakers, investors, news media, patient advocates, and industry stakeholders from around the world.

The distinguished panel featured Uwe Reinhardt, Ph.D., professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University; Frank Lichtenberg, Ph.D., Courtney C. Brown Professor of Business at Columbia University; Thomas Fogarty, M.D., physician and inventor; and Martin Malawar, M.D., professor of orthopedic surgery at Georgetown University Medical Center and director of orthopedic oncology at Washington Hospital Center. CNN health care correspondent Val Willingham moderated the panel session.

The panel's wide-ranging discussion touched on a number of topics, including the unique process of medical technology innovation, the role of physicians in that process, and how medical technology adds value to the health care system through greater efficiencies and improved patient outcomes.

"Innovations in diagnostic testing provide physicians with better and more timely information about patients' medical conditions," noted Lichtenberg. "This often results in more appropriate and effective treatment, hence improved outcomes and/or lower medical costs."

Dr. Fogarty, one of the pioneers of minimally invasive surgery, stressed how many different players, including physicians and industry, need to come together to make medical advancements possible. "Medical technology innovation depends on the interface of a complex web of players - industry; academia; regulators, the medical community and others - in order to succeed. Without all these players doing their part, the next generation of treatments will never make it to patients. Whatever we do, we must always keep the patient foremost in our minds," he said.

AdvaMed President and CEO Stephen J. Ubl said that as the debate on health care reform intensifies in the coming months, policymakers need to keep in mind the panelists' lessons on the value medical technology provides. "Innovations that diagnose disease earlier, reduce complications, shorten hospital stays and get people back to living their lives are part of the solution to America's health care challenges, and these types of advancements need to be encouraged to thrive," Ubl said.

Jim Mazzo, Chairman, President and CEO of Advanced Medical Optics and Chair of AdvaMed's Value of Technology Board Committee, agreed. "At no other time in history have we seen such astounding medical progress," Mazzo said. "Our citizens not only deserve the latest in health care technology, it also makes good economic sense to ensure we all have access to the best care possible."

To learn more about how advanced medical technologies improve patients' lives and add real value to the health care system, visit http://www.progressyoucansee.org.

AdvaMed member companies produce the medical devices, diagnostic products and health information systems that are transforming health care through earlier disease detection, less invasive procedures and more effective treatments. Our members produce nearly 90 percent of the health care technology purchased annually in the United States and more than 50 percent purchased annually around the world. AdvaMed members range from the largest to the smallest medical technology innovators and companies. For more information, visit http://www.advamed.org.


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