Computers and Technology
Submitted By yangjichu
Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine
The impact of medical technology on healthcare today
LTH Tan and KL Ong
Rapidly changing medical technology and availability of high technology diagnostic and therapeutic equipment together with changing practice pattern of doctors has revolutionized the way health care is being delivered today. Without doubt, medical technology is indispensable for people's health and better quality of life in some areas; and contributes billions of dollars to the economy. Some would go so far to say that the practice of medicine these days is inherently dependent upon health technology. This is probably based on the observations that clinicians use a wide variety of technologies in diagnosing, treating and assessing the care of their patients. Today's medical technology is more advanced, more effective, and in many cases, more costly than ever before. Furthermore there is an ever increasing demand for high technology diagnostic and therapeutic health care facilities and their availability may come into conflict with medical necessity, social justice and cost effectiveness.
There is increasing pressure on health care resources that is driving more explicit and public decisions regarding the best use of these resources. The complexity of modern technology and its high marginal cost suggest to us that testimonial reviews of new technologies are no longer sufficient.1 Current trends in health care decision making favour a transition from a rationale based primarily on resources and opinion to a rationale derived from research. In developing a new health care technology it is important to recognize its potential impact. The important question would be whether the new technology provides information that was not previously available and the new information may result in the cure of a common and otherwise fatal disease....