Bioethics Briefing Note
Medical technology is a thriving sector and new implants emerge on the market faster than new medicines. A key challenge for policy-makers is to promote innovation that meets the needs of patients and ensures equitable access to implants, while ensuring that implants are acceptably safe and effective. The challenges involved in assessing the efficacy and safety of medical implants place particular responsibilities on manufacturers, regulatory bodies, and healthcare professionals to ensure that implants are used in a responsible and trustworthy manner, and are carefully monitored to ensure that any problems are discovered early. The emergence of connected implants opens up possibilities for improving patient care through data gathering and use. However, these implants are vulnerable to error and attack and raise privacy issues. It will be important that their development is accompanied by security measures and efforts to ensure data use is in-line with the expectations of patients.