MITA cheers inclusion of medical imaging technologies in new opioid epidemic bill

The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) has issued a statement applauding the inclusion of text related to imaging technologies in the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (HR 6), which President Trump signed into law on Wednesday, Oct. 24.

A provision in the legislation, which is focused on the ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States, calls for the development of ultrasound-guided technologies as an alternative to using opioids for pain management.

“Pain-management alternatives to opioids are key to solving this ongoing crisis,” Joe Robinson, chairman of the MITA board of directors and senior vice president of health systems for Philips Healthcare, said in the statement. “We’re encouraged by lawmakers’ commitment to support research and innovation that helps patients in pain while also mitigating addiction risk.”

Ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia and focused ultrasound therapy are two technologies researchers will be focused on going forward, according to MITA.

“Using the power of direct visualization, clinicians can safely and routinely perform ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia to deliver pain relief without the use of opioids or other pain medication,” according to the MITA statement. “Focused ultrasound therapy has also been shown to be effective in suppressing or stimulating nerve activity with the goal of relieving both acute and chronic pain.”