(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - Half a century ago, a pacemaker was the size of a hockey puck. Today, it's smaller than a AAA battery. New pioneering technologies are on the horizon thanks to the continued commitment for improved medical care. Since 1980, medical technology has reduced fatalities from heart disease and stroke by more than half, reports the National Center for Health Statistics. In that same period, average life expectancy in the United States has increased dramatically -- by over five years. Advances in medical technology are significantly improving patient outcomes and health system savings, helping people lead longer and better lives. In fact, since 1976, St. Jude Medical has affected the lives of approximately 70 million patients with one of its many life-saving technologies. One way patients today benefit from med tech innovation is connecting with their physicians through smart technology. Many medical devices offer remote monitoring -- transmitters that communicate data about a patient's condition to their doctors without the patient having to leave home. Research shows that telemedicine expands access to health services for people living in rural or remote areas, and can assist in health-care outreach to people who may be vulnerable to untreated chronic conditions. Medical technology companies are also exploring creative and unique partnerships to drive disease awareness and improve patient outcomes. One example is the group, Mended Hearts, and its commitment to heart-failure patients living with an LVAD (left ventricular assist device). Through the recent Thanks to an LVAD contest (www.thankslvad.com), the patient advocacy group and global medical device manufacturer, St. Jude Medical, teamed up to educate and inspire people living with heart failure and increase awareness of LVADs as a potentially life-saving treatment. Today, more than ever, companies like St. Jude Medical are leading the way to solve some of the world's biggest health-care challenges. With new medical-technology innovation, physicians can now provide earlier diagnoses, perform less invasive procedures and improve disease management. Scientists, engineers and inventors work with imaginatively to transform the treatment of expensive epidemic diseases and save and improve lives.