Originally Published MPMN
Originally Published MPMN May 2004
EDITOR'S PAGEAnd the Survey Says. . .
Quick--name a recent breakthrough in medical research.
I'm sure you had no trouble coming up with one, if not many. But would you think the average American would be able to rattle one off? You might be surprised.
According to a national opinion survey, more than half of those asked said they made a special effort to keep up with the latest in science and technology. The survey was conducted in conjunction with the PBS series Innovation from Thirteen/ WNET New York. It looked at public opinions and attitudes about those areas and found that most people are interested in keeping up with the latest advances.
And the survey results showed something even more unexpected. Respondents were very accepting of procedures that have been at the center of controversy. For example, when asked if they considered the harvesting of embryonic stem cells to treat a wide variety of diseases and injuries to be positive or negative to society, 75% of those asked said that it was positive, even though this is still a hotly debated topic.
When questions about government funding were not tied to specific items, the survey showed that nearly 9 out of 10 Americans supported the use of government funds for medical research. Nearly half (43%) said health and medicine should be the government's highest R&D funding priority.
All of this should be great news for those designing medical devices. More funding for new technologies can only be good for device makers.
And the public's strong support for technological advances could affect public policy decisions, perhaps even making controversial procedures more acceptable to legislators. "The results [of the survey] certainly raise an interesting question about the future of these policies, and whether they will stand up to further political scrutiny," says Scott Mowbray, editor-in-chief of Popular Science magazine.
But that lies in the future. While it will no doubt be interesting to see what happens, for now we congratulate the manufacturers, suppliers, and designers of the latest crop of breakthrough medical devices. The winners of this year's Medical Design Excellence
Awards (MDEA) are honored for their achievements in the areas of product innovation, design and engineering, end-user benefit, and cost-effectiveness in manufacturing and healthcare delivery.
Starting on page 36 of this issue, MPMN takes a look at the many ways in which suppliers and designers played a part in creating the MDEA-winning devices. To find a complete list of winners, and for more information about the program go to the MDEA Web site at www.mdeawards.com.
Susan Wallace, Managing Editor
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