A new report by the British not-for-profit organisation Medical Technology Group (MTG) has found that eight medical technologies could save the UK economy about £476m in terms of decreased long-term health costs and benefit payments.
The amount is equivalent to an additional 20,000 nurses or 10.5 million general practitioner (GP) visits.
Highlighting the potential of medical technology to help the National Health Service (NHS), the report studied data related to coronary angioplasty, hip replacements, implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs), insulin pumps, diagnostics, fibroid embolisation, pain management, and wound care.
More than a fifth of savings are reported to come from coronary angioplasty and in 2015 alone 100,000 procedures were performed, enabling 32,456 patients to become economically active again.
The savings in benefits for those returning to work is said to be equivalent to £123.3m per year and is repeated annually for the rest of the patients’ working lives.
MTG further reported £70m savings per year associated with hip replacements, £3m due to ICD implantations, £13.8m by insulin pumps, and £76m with better access to fibroid embolisation.
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In addition, using a spinal cord stimulator for pain management is expected to save £3.8m per year, chronic wounds management would provide £25.3m, and quick diagnosis for suspected sepsis could result in £160m annual savings.
Medical Technology Group chair Barbara Harpham said: “Medical technology has an enormous impact, both in terms of the quality of life that it offers patients and in the cost savings to the health service and the wider economy.
“The trouble is that the upfront cost of medical technology often means patient access is being limited and cheaper short-term solutions being chosen – in other words, a false economy.
“With the NHS budget under increasing pressure, it’s time we rethink the approach to rationing medical treatments that gives people back their lives.”