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Health technology is defined by the World Health Organization as the "application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives". This includes the pharmaceuticals, devices, procedures and organizational systems used in health care.
Medical technology, or medtech, encompasses a wide range of healthcare products and is used to treat diseases or medical conditions affecting humans. Such technologies (applications of medical science) are intended to improve the quality of healthcare delivered through earlier diagnosis, less invasive treatment options and reductions in hospital stays and rehabilitation times. Recent advances in medical technology have also focused on cost reduction. Medical technology may broadly include medical devices, information technology, biotech, and healthcare services.
The impacts of medical technology may involve social and ethical issues. For example, physicians may seek objective information from technology rather than listening to subjective patient reports.
A major driver of the sector's growth is the consumerization of medtech. Supported by the widespread availability of smartphones and tablets, providers are able to reach a large audience at low cost, a trend that stands to be consolidated as wearable technologies spread throughout the market.
In the past 5 years running up to the end of 2015, venture funding has grown 200%, allowing US$11.7 billion to flow into health tech businesses from over 30,000 investors in the space.
The term medical technology may also refer to the duties performed by clinical laboratory professionals in various settings within the public and private sectors. The work of these professionals encompass clinical applications of chemistry, genetics, hematology, immunohematology (blood banking), immunology, microbiology, serology, urinalysis and miscellaneous body fluid analysis. Depending on location, educational level and certifying body, these professionals may be referred to as biomedical scientists, medical laboratory scientists (MLS), medical technologists (MT), medical laboratory technologists and medical laboratory technicians.