Technological Innovation Impacts Health Systems


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The introduction of new medical technology or technological innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and recovery of the patient.

And it  has a direct impact on the indicators of health outcomes, as well as on the increase in life expectancy and quality of life and safety in healthcare processes.

But advances in medical technology such as genetic testing or robotic surgery lead to more significant expense and, therefore, an imbalance in system costs.

Due to the aging population, health spending is increasing faster than economic growth.

Other factors that affect spending is the consequent increase in chronic diseases and increasingly expensive care (which includes both new-generation drugs and the use of modern technology).

Currently, there is a worldwide concern, also in developed countries, about the sustainability of health systems.

This forces the international community and all actors to seek a balance between the incorporation of new technologies and health outcomes.

Propose 6 Key Aspects That Must Take Into Account:

1. Need to Evaluate:

The high cost of state-of-the-art medical technologies is a barrier to their implementation in neighboring countries. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate:

  • The moment of implantation.
  • The technological needs to be incorporated into the systems.
  • The adaptation of these technologies to the needs detected in the population.

Technology assessment agencies have this role, but their work needs to be regulated and strengthened.

In this sense, the European Evaluation agency ( Eunethta ) encourages collaboration between all networked agencies to enhance efficiency.

This framework includes projects such as AdHopHTA, a research project funded by the EU, which developed three products to improve the practice of technological health assessment (HTA) in hospitals.

2. Prioritize Technological Innovation

E challenge for administrations l health policy is to have early knowledge of emerging technologies.

In this way, adequate evaluation and prioritization of the technologies with the most significant impact carried out.

This could serve to streamline the process of introduction. But in the service portfolio, those technologies with an optimal clinical cost/benefit and thus avoid the use of those that do not have tangible health results.

Coupled with this, we must raise the need for disinvestment, eliminating obsolete technology that does not add value or has been replaced by another.

In this sense, there is a trend, the “Right Care” movement, which seeks to identify practices that, although they may be entrenched, do not add value to patients and are not cost-effective.

3. Purchase Models Of Technological Innovation:

How is Technology acquired?

Health systems must prioritize their resources and analyze needs, measure the value of clinical results, and materialize the expected benefit of innovation.

Hence, new models such as Value-Based Health Care are a definite need.

This model based on care focused needs of the patient and the generation of value (and not on the number of services provided).

4. Changes In The Relationship Model With The Industry:

From supplier to partner, involve agents in the results.

Health technology industries play an essential role in the introduction of technological innovation.

And collaborating with health systems in the development of efficient healthcare models that help the sustainability of health systems.

5. Change Of Focus In The Care Delivery Model:

On the other hand, technological innovation can help change service, delivery models.

A clear example of this is the application of technologies for telemedicine and remote monitoring of patients.

This model of care entails considerable savings to the system without reducing the quality of the assistance provided.

6. Lifestyle Of The Patient Using Technological Innovation:

Changing the population’s lifestyle habits would have a high impact on their health.

In this sense, the penetration of smart devices and apps into the market.

Also focused on the prevention and promotion of a healthy lifestyle, will help promote these changes.

In conclusion, health systems, industry, and patients must join forces to achieve common goals.

So that strike a balance between access to the best medical technology and the sustainability of health systems.

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