Broadly speaking, the term “medical technology” can be used to refer to the procedures, equipment, and processes by which medical care is delivered. Examples of changes in technology would include new medical and surgical procedures (e.g., angioplasty, joint replacements), drugs (e.g., biologic agents), medical devices (e.g., CT scanners, implantable defibrillators), and new support systems (e.g., electronic medical records and transmission of information, telemedicine).2 There is very little in the field of medicine that does not use some type of medical technology and that has not been affected by new technology.
While a particular new technology may either increase or decrease health care spending, researchers generally agree that, taken together, advances in medical technology have contributed to rising overall U.S. health care spending. Rettig describes how new medical technology affects the costs of health care through the following “mechanisms of action:5
· Development of new treatments for previously untreatable terminal conditions, including long-term maintenance therapy for treatment of such diseases as diabetes, end-stage renal disease, and AIDS;
· Major advances in clinical ability to treat previously untreatable acute conditions, such as coronary artery bypass graft;
· Development of new procedures for discovering and treating secondary diseases within a disease, such as erythropoietin to treat anemia in dialysis patients;
· Expansion of the indications for a treatment over time, increasing the patient population to which the treatment is applied;
· On-going, incremental improvements in existing capabilities, which may improve quality;
· Clinical progress, through major advances or by the cumulative effect of incremental improvements, that extends the scope of medicine to conditions once regarded as beyond its boundaries, such as mental illness and substance abuse.
BYOD is becoming mainstream
We are seeing new phenomena where stored data is now accessible and useable. Big data is being analyzed to gain valuable insights into ways to become more cost effective, and accelerate patient care
1. Telemedicine will deliver cost effective care for the future
- Data Security and support is becoming easier to manage
Medical professionals rely upon their mobile devices to work effectively.
As technology continues to develop at a dramatic pace, we will see an increase in the use of many types of electronic devices and a drop in paper based note taking within the healthcare environment. The further development of products and services such as touch based convertible tablets, servers, cloud computing, smart machines, and smart printers will encourage a major technology shift in hospitals and medical facilities throughout the world. We will also see an increased push in cost reduction initiatives in order to advance the progress related to the vital task of improving patient outcomes.
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