Benefits of updating healthcare technology
Five facts about new medical technology underlie this paper.First, new technologies do, on average, improve the quality of medical care by improving health outcomes.
The direct cost of a capital-embodied technology includes not only the capital cost itself but also the operating costs required to implement it.American society is approaching, or may have reached, the point at which it is not possible to provide the best available health care to every American, regardless of cost.The de facto solution has been to restrict access to health care for a growing segment of the population—the uninsured—while preserving the myth of best available care for those fortunate enough to have coverage.Even if the more important innovations could be listed, it would be extremely difficult to trace their overall economic impact.Another caveat is that the economic impact of a technology is often confused with the purchase price of a piece of equipment or a drug, or the fee paid to a surgeon.
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This is not true of every technology in every clinical use, but it is true on average.