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Healthy Savings

Healthy Savings: Medical Technology and the Economic Burden of Disease

Jul 17, 2014

Anusuya Chatterjee, Jaque King, Sindhu Kubendran, Ross DeVol

Publisher: Milken Institute

As America ages and sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets become more common, experts agree the nation is suffering from a sharp rise in chronic disease. As the 21st century unfolds, technology – in the form of advanced diagnostic and therapeutic devices -- can meet the need for early detection and more effective management of illness. Some researchers, however, have questioned whether the overall benefit of technical advances outweighs the costs -- a question this report answers.

Accordingly, researchers at the Milken Institute undertook a comprehensive, quantitative documentation of medical technology's impact on the economic burden of disease. The study also projects how future innovation in this sector would affect the health care system and the larger economy -- a positive benefit of more than $23 billion a year for the United States.

The data demonstrate that the use of medical technology brings considerable economic benefits. These are seen in both aggregate savings in treatment expenditures and prevention as well as the reduction of "indirect impact" through larger contributions to the economy.