Group asks UN not to forget medical technologies in drafting sustainability goals

A global association of imaging advocates is calling on the United Nations (UN) to make sure the value of medical technologies is reflected in the UN’s plans for sustainable development.

DITTA, the Global Diagnostic Imaging, Healthcare IT and Radiation Therapy Trade Association, issued a statement asking the UN to add the word “technologies” to a section in a Sustainable Development Goal set to be ratified by the UN General Assembly in September.

These goals stem from agreements made by member states at the turn of the millennium to help provide focus on priority areas for the achievement of sustainable development across the globe.

The specific section being highlighted by DITTA is Sustainable Development Goal 3, Target 3.b, which focuses on support for research to advance medicine and public health. DITTA suggested the final version of the section, with the addition of “technologies,” should read as follows:

“3.b support research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines, technologies and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the TRIPS agreement regarding flexibilities to protect public health and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all.”

In the statement, Nicole Denjoy, DITTA’s vice-chair, said the term should not be left out of the goal outline in recognition of medical technology’s ability to save lives. “Without medical technology, there would be no radiotherapy treatment for cancer, no infant warmers for babies suffering from hypothermia, no LED phototherapy for neonatal jaundice and the detection and cure of tuberculosis and HIV would not be possible.”

“Medical technology is vital in diagnosing, monitoring and treating diseases,” Denjoy added. “Without medical technologies, health systems would simply collapse.”

DITTA membership is comprised of participating associations from countries around the world. The U.S. is represented by the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance.