Starting in 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic heightened the awareness of existing health disparities within the United States (US) healthcare system. Research has shown that people of color are less likely than white patients to have access to certain medical technologies or undergo procedures that use medical technologies, than white patients. People of color – especially Black people – are statistically more likely to suffer from a wide range of chronic and infectious diseases and other health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory disease. These diseases are some of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States.
The medtech industry, at its core, exists to ensure patients have access to safe, effective, and innovative medical technologies that save and improve patient lives. The medtech industry has an important role to play in ensuring health equity and mitigating health disparities as we make the technologies and tests that result in the accurate diagnosis of disease and in improved patient outcomes for all patients. The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) launched the Responding To Racial Disparities In Health initiative in 2020 and laid out a set of four Principles on Health Equity to promote inclusion and equity in healthcare and research in the medtech industry.