NIH Conference to assess state of medical implants: Research information on implant performance lacking in US

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will hold a Technology Assessment Conference (TAC) to look at barriers and opportunities to developing systems for implant retrieval analysis and data banking. The TAC will be conducted January 10-12, 2000 in the Natcher Conference Center on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

It is estimated that 8 to 10 percent of the American population currently has a permanent medical implant. Retrieving and evaluating medical implants provides the only true long-term data on how a patient's body responds to hosting an implant, as well as the final condition of the implant. Even so, there has not been any systematic effort developed in the United States for implant retrieval analysis or data banking. The objective of the conference is to assess the opportunities and challenges to developing a framework for independent research of medical implants retrieved after surgery or at autopsy.

Titled, "Improving Medical Implant Performance Through Retrieval Information: Challenges and Opportunities," the conference will bring together specialists in surgery, pathology, engineering, biomaterials, information systems, and other related disciplines, as well as representatives from the public, legal, ethical, and industrial communities.

The conference will address the following key questions:

  • What are the patient, health care provider, and societal expectations of the lifetime costs, risks, and benefits of medical implants?
  • What can the role of information data systems be in educating the public, medical community, and policymakers about medical implants and retrieval?
  • What are the legal, ethical, religious, cultural, public policy, and economic barriers to implant retrieval and reporting, and how can they be overcome?
  • What information is necessary to evaluate and improve implant and material performance and device design?
  • What future research and institutional support is nece

Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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