Today's Debate: Is medical tech growth good?

The immense size of the U.S. market has made it a magnet for new technologies from around the world, but costs and benefits are not often considered. To what extent is this responsible for our industry's "robust" growth, and is that really a good thing?

Allergofilter and its inventorThe new Frost & Sullivan U.S. Healthcare Databook writes approvingly of "robust growth" in the sector. (Pictured is inventor Vajai László and his amazing Allergofilter.)

But should we be celebrating? Muriel Gillick says no. "We need to accept human mortality and, as a matter of both practice and policy, concentrate on improving older people’s quality of life," she concludes.

The Advanced Medical Technology Association, of course, disagrees. Their new Web site, called Progressyoucansee, says technology saves lives, by cutting the cost of chronic disease.

Innovations vary widely in cost and research effort. A single inventor can create a new allergy cure. Nanotech advocates are combining their research with a variety of other technologies, touching them all with new inventions, but also with high costs.

The immense size of the U.S. market has made it a magnet for new technologies from around the world, but costs and benefits are not often considered. To what extent is this responsible for our industry's "robust" growth, and is that really a good thing?