ECRI has released its Top 10 Health Technology Hazards list for 2021 outlining the potential sources of danger especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and offering some recommendations for minimising the risks.


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The list, which has been published for the 14th year, presents the potential sources of danger that according to ECRI warrant the greatest attention to increase awareness and stimulate action within healthcare facilities to formulate programs that succeed in minimizing the dangers and preventing risks for the coming year.


In its 2021 report, the organisation addresses new topics emerging against the background of the pandemic. One of them is the challenges of managing medical devices that have only been authorised for emergency use (EUA), such as what hospitals should with them after the approved period of use end. ECRI also provides a new approach to the risks related to medication errors giving an example of how a convenience feature on medication logistics may cause fatal errors.


Cybersecurity, which has become one of the prominent topics since the start of the pandemic, is another focus area for ECRI this year, with third-party software investigated as a weak link in a healthcare organisation’s security system. Applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in medical devices may also carry significant risks, particularly in diagnostic imaging where it may demonstrate bias in some patient populations.


Overall, the top health technology hazards for 2021, according to ECRI, include:

  • EUA medical device management
  • Drug name auto-display
  • Rapid telehealth adoption
  • Imported N95-style masks
  • Consumer-grade devices
  • UV disinfection
  • Software vulnerabilities
  • AI in diagnostic imaging
  • Remote operation risks
  • 3D printing quality

The executive brief can be downloaded here (registration required).

Source: ECRI

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