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AdvaMed Submits Recommendations to Federal Government to Strengthen Domestic Semiconductor Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) recently responded to the Department of Commerce’s request for information on ways to support a strong domestic semiconductor industry. AdvaMed continues to call for the federal government and chips supply chain partners to prioritize the delivery of patient care by ensuring that medical device manufacturers receive the chips they need to continue operations.

From the comments submitted by AdvaMed: “We recommend that the [Department of Commerce and National Institute of Standards and Technology] assess the healthcare industry’s requirements for mature and advanced semiconductor chips. Currently, the medical devices industry is largely reliant on mature chips to operate their technologies. While that may change over time, it is critical that the U.S. government supports R&D and growth in this sector, and, most importantly, that it has a clear picture of our nation’s health technology needs, with particular focus on essential semiconductor chips and their market allocations.

“In addition to the proposed programs outlined in the RFI, AdvaMed recommends that Commerce establish a program or office in partnership with key agencies including FDA and HHS/ASPR that evaluates financial assistance, R&D, supply chain transparency, workforce, and other needs as it relates to the evolving infrastructure requirements of the U.S. healthcare system. This program or office could provide input into the overall process from the perspective of addressing our nation’s public health and the well-being of patients. As a key part of this effort and for the reasons outlined above, we also strongly recommend a formal mechanism for regular high-level industry consultations to ensure the U.S. government receives timely information on the semiconductor needs of the medical device industry and can act appropriately to stave off future, unnecessary shortages that could impact patient care.”

Despite being less than 1% of the overall semiconductor chip market, manufacturers of medical devices and diagnostics rely on semiconductor chips for a vast array of technologies. These include but are not limited to capital equipment such as imaging systems, diagnostic assay systems, instrument sterilization equipment, and robotic surgical systems, patient monitoring systems (glucose, oxygen levels, blood pressure, etc.), cardiovascular care such as EKG, pacemakers and defibrillators, respiratory care such as ventilators and CPAP, orthopedic implants and a broad spectrum of technology enabled systems and applications in the healthcare delivery system.

Over the past year, the chips shortage has become an acute industry-wide issue for the hundreds of diagnostics, therapeutics, and capital equipment companies that produce essential medical technologies that support patient health. As the semiconductor supply chain challenges continue, shortages stemming from allocations and decommits by chips manufactures, suppliers and brokers have disrupted medical technology manufacturing and the delivery of patient care.

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AdvaMed member companies produce the medical devices, diagnostic products and health information systems that are transforming health care through earlier disease detection, less invasive procedures and more effective treatments. AdvaMed members range from the largest to the smallest medical technology innovators and companies. For more information, visit