New NEMA Report Highlights Seismic Change Medical Imaging Has Had On U.S. Health Care

ROSSLYN, VA, December 13, 2006-From enabling modern cardiovascular care to virtually eliminating exploratory surgery, medical imaging has radically changed the way medicine is practiced and how medical delivery is structured. These patient-centered changes are driving much of the utilization growth in medical imaging.

These are the conclusions of a report released today by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) that details the impact of medical imaging on nearly all aspects of health care delivery.

Entitled "Changing the Landscape: How Medical Imaging Has Transformed Health Care in the U.S.," the report finds that advances in medical imaging have "dramatically changed how physicians measure, manage, diagnose, treat, and even think about medical illnesses and conditions." Imaging has brought about new approaches to diagnosing and treating stroke, heart disease, and cancer, among others, according to the report. Better visualization and information from imaging have also led more types of physicians to use imaging in more clinical situations, for more diseases, and for more patients.

This broad applicability of imaging is one of the primary factors in increased utilization of imaging, according to the report. "To ascribe this growth primarily to financial motives of medical providers ignores these deep, patient-centered changes," said the report.

The report is available at

NEMA released the report today at a National Press Club briefing that focused, in particular, on the transformation that imaging has brought about in cardiovascular care. Among the conclusions:

Imaging advances have made major contributions over the past 30 years in the significant improvements in mortality and morbidity from heart disease. This has come from enhanced screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up monitoring made possible by imaging.

Medical imaging has made modern stroke therapy possible through early, accurate diagnosis, and new treatment options. Among other things, imaging enables physicians to differentiate between the primary types of strokes, thereby guiding treatment decisions ranging from surgery to clot-busting drugs.

A summary of the role of imaging in cardiovascular care and other materials from today's press briefing is also available at

NEMA is the trade association of choice for the electrical manufacturing industry. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its 430 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end-use of electricity. These products are used in utility, medical imaging, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. Domestic production of electrical products sold worldwide exceeds $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing, São Paulo, and Mexico City.

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