As healthcare technology management (HTM) managers and clinical engineers, it is our responsibility to anticipate the market and understand risks, including considering the sustainable use of nonrenewable resources. Unexpected events that disrupt the supply chain seem to be happening more frequently, and these challenges are making it more difficult to ensure the sustainable availability of medical equipment and parts. Is this truly just a short-term result of the pandemic, or is it a sign of other underlying issues?

As described by the Brundtland Commission in 1987, sustainable development “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Medical equipment can do amazing things—and we expect that to continue forever—but we live on a planet with a limited amount of economically recoverable natural resources. Obtaining the needed nonrenewable mineral and energy resources to manufacture and operate this equipment will become more...

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