Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important issue for the healthcare industry, particularly in the wake of the United Nation’s Climate Summit in late September.
Recognizing the importance of sustainability, an AAMI standards committee is seeking members to help develop a technical information report (TIR) that addresses what environmental, health, and safety implications medical device manufacturers should take into account when developing their products.
“The committee has developed a draft TIR after coming together both in person and virtually to work on the document over the past year,” said Suzanne Fiorino, a member of the AAMI Sustainability Committee, which includes device manufacturers, users, and regulators. “Currently, the TIR draft is being circulated for comments among the members.”
Fiorino presented at the AAMI 2012 International Standards Conference on what sustainability means for the medical device industry. She also highlighted Johnson & Johnson’s EARTHWARDS approach for product stewardship and sustainable solutions.
The committee’s work is becoming even more important, particularly as national and international bodies have begun emphasizing healthcare’s role in helping promote environmentally friendly activities, particularly internationally. For example, the European Commission is paying attention to the issue of chemicals in medical devices.
Already, the committee has examined some sustainability issues—including disposing of waste and avoiding harmful chemicals during the design phase of a product—in a white paper released in November 2013. Elements of a Responsible Product Life Cycle can be downloaded for free from AAMI’s Hot Topics page, which features standards information and other resources, located at www.aami.org/hottopics/sustainability.
AAMI members who are interested in participating on the AAMI Sustainability Committee are encouraged to contact Cliff Bernier, director of standards, at firstname.lastname@example.org.