As healthcare vendors and members of the healthcare ecosystem, the devices industy is most focused on alleviating pain, managing disease, sustaining or saving lives and if possible curing a problem (and let's not forget making money.)
In this context it might be helpful to know what is killing us. The folks over at Information is Beautiful, using a variety of resources, have created this interesting infographic that shows the mass killers of the 20th Century.
Sadly, death from natural causes did not top that list.
Here are the leading causes of death in the previous century:
- Non-communicable diseases excluding cancer
These include diseases like cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and diabetes which among others were responsible for taking 1.97 billion lives in the 20th Century.
- Infectious diseases
These diseases include illnesses like respiraroty illness, malaria, diarhhea and killed 1.68 billion people in the 20th Century. In a hundred years from now if someone were to make a similar infographic about 21st Century killers, one disease that would not feature, that had a prominent role in the death of many in the 20th Century would be small pox. That eradicated disease ravaged 400 million in that century
No medical devices or medical intervention could really reduce this cause of death that included murders,ideology such as communism, air pollution and war. Accidents are also part of this group though better medical intervention can liely have a better impact on mortality now than it did in the 20th Century. Together this group of causes killed 980 million people in the 20th Century.
This disease with its myriad incarnations remains a giant killer. In the 20th Century, stomach and lung cancer took the lion's share in terms of largest causes of cancer deaths. In all cancer killed 530 million in the 20th Century.
- Health Complications
These include conditions like nutritional deficiency, birth defects and perinatal conditions and resulted in 278 million lives lost in the previous century.
For a more detailed look at the major causes of death in the previous century, click to see the infographic.
-- By Arundhati Parmar, Senior Editor MD+DI