ECRI, Plymouth Meeting, Reports on Medical Technology Fails; One Is Both Dangerous and Pervasive

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ecri medical technology warning
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A QMED article cites data from ECRI, the Plymouth Meeting healthcare safety nonprofit, warning about a pervasive medical risk. QMED’s publication, MD+DI, had the details.

Much concern surrounds medical devices designed for at-home use.

Use of this general classification of equipment — from blood pressure monitors to dialysis machines — has risen in patient homes, cited as being wholly more convenient.

But according to ECRI, there is a dangerous downside.

In its annual report on health technology hazards, ECRI experts warn that product recall notices are causing concern.

Information about products needing adjustments or fixes do not always reach device owners. Or the information that does arrive is too complex for in-home patients to follow the directions designed to keep them safe.

CPAP machines, for example, were cited as particularly vulnerable.

A 2021 recall of a specific brand (Philips) sought to reach the product’s 5.5 million users in June 2021. Months later, users were just learning about the danger.

“Even if patients do receive notifications, the language may be jargon-heavy and perplexing, and patients may have difficulty determining whether their device is affected or what to do about it,” said Marcus Schabacker, MD, president and CEO at ECRI.

ECRI is presently working with equipment manufacturers to improve.

The MD+DI website has all ECRI’s recommendations medical equipment recalls.

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Although the threat posed by CPAP machines in need of recall is concerning,
it is nowhere near the danger from other medical technology needing safety modifications, as this 2022 FDA video shows.

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