MEDICAL CARE AND TECHNOLOGY DIFFUSION
Healthcare
1.What impact has technology had on access to, quality of, and cost of medical care?
2. Discuss factors, such as market competition, supply and demand, and government, that relate on levels of medical technology diffusion. What are relationships between the factors and technology diffusion?
3. Which factors have been responsible for the low diffusion and low use of telemedicine?
Introduction
The term medical technology refers to the equipment, procedures and processes used to deliver medical care. Technology changes include novel surgical and medical procedures (joint replacements and angioplasty), medical devices (implantable defibrillators and CT scanners), drugs and novel support systems (telemedicine, information transmission and electronic medical records).
Impact of Technology on Access, Quality and Cost of Medical Care
Technology has impacted significantly on the cost, quality and access of medical care.
Cost
It is approximated that thirty percent of the $ 1.2 trillion utilized on health care is clinical inefficiency and duplicative G&A costs. The internet can be used to minimize costs by merging back and streamlining office administrative providers’ and plans’ processes. There is a likelihood that people will in the future will visit the doctor few times but be able to send information more frequently. Testing using point of care (saliva and hand held blood analyzers) will soon be available in communities and homes. In case patients are able to communicate with physicians and be supervised through the internet, the more than twenty percent of in- office visits can be done away (Becker, Philipson & Soares, 2005).  Numerous savings can be gotten from more efficient channeling and identification of resources to patients at high risk, lower cost settings care delivery, as well as elimination of medical errors linked to waste.
Quality
The web impacts on quality via electronic trails, which ascribe, dissect and measure accountability. IT allows for new payment schemes which are designed to remunerate physician performance, as well as develop financial incentives for refining chronically ill patients’ care quality. This constitutes twenty percent of the patients who use eighty percent of resources. Novel care management tools are less obtrusive and more effective. Folland, Goodman and Stano (1997) argue that decision support systems that are based on the internet at the care point can analyze and organize clinical data, as well as give instant feedback. Complex tools for disease management will ensure improved life quality while eliminating or reducing future costs.
Access
Electronic services and health information delivery is essential for rural hospitals, which utilize it to get consulting services to screen patients in homes. Capacity for care will be brought directly in to schools, workplaces and homes. Novel medical devices are web- based and integrate the computer. Encrypted wallet cards will aIDress concerns about health information access and privacy (Becker, Philipson & Soares, 2005). Through reduced errors and enhanced efficiency, automation and information technology can offset cost inflation that is driven by medical breakthroughs, biotechnology, consumerism and aging (Folland, Goodman & Stano, 1997).
Factors that affect Medical Technology Diffusion
Supply and demand
In the previous twenty years, numerous advances have been made in infertility treatments, which have increased the success rate for treatment. The timing of the advances has played an influential role in ensuring that treatment demand in high. The demand is as a result of the desire to change life- cycles in women. Competitive markets have a higher chance of including a clinic that includes medical technology, as opposed to monopoly markets.
 
 
Competitive Markets
Local vendors’ market- oriented actions impact on technology diffusion of products (Becker, Philipson & Soares, 2005). It is imperative that international marketing managers focus on few principal actions, and ensure novel actions, which are different from local vendors’ while competing in emerging markets.
Government
The government has a role in ensuring that medical institutions adopt telemedicine, diffusion and technology. The government needs to promote and finance the adoption of technology to ensure improved access, quality and cost of health care.
Low Diffusion and Use of Telemedicine
Low use of telemedicine and diffusion is as a result of the exaggerated concentration technology as opposed to the goals (Folland, Goodman & Stano, 1997).  Second, there is complexity and rigidity of mechanisms that regulate local, municipal and national activities. Third, there is the absence of decentralized investment and measures’ goal management which consider all parties.
There is a lack of a mechanism that can reimburse physicians as they use a lot of time answering questions on the internet and ensuring the interaction through forwarding messages. This inhibits incentives for embracing internet- based interaction.
Presently, there is inadequate legal guide for what makes up adequate individual patient information protection. Furthermore, there are no solid practitioner liability precedents in case advice given results in adverse patient outcomes (Folland, Goodman & Stano, 1997).Irrespective of the fact that the majority of telehealth interactions are crossing national and state boundaries, remote professional licensure’ legal precedents are not established.
Conclusion
The internet minimizes the health care costs. Novel care management tools are less obtrusive and more effective. Disease management tools ensure improved life quality while eliminating or reducing future costs. Encrypted wallet cards will aIDress concerns about health information access and privacy. Inadequate legal guide, unstable practitioner liability precedents and professional licensure are the factors that have led to low telemedicine use.
References
Becker, G.S., Philipson, T. J., &Soares, R.S.  (2005). The Quantity and Quality of Life and the
Evolution of World Income Inequality.American Economic Review, 95, 277-91.
Folland, S., Goodman, A.C., &Stano, M. (1997). The economics of health and health care (2nd     ed). Upper SaIDle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
 
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