November 26, 2012
Basic Sciences 1 – News Essay
New Surgical Technology: Adoption or Diffusion?
This article raised an interesting subject: surgeons and patients seeking improved treatment often forget that a new technique is not necessarily a better one. Human body with its health problems remains the same but the surgical technology is always moving towards progress. People develop new surgical tools and new surgical procedures constantly. However, do we carefully test all these new tools and procedures before using them on people? And how? On humans? On animals first perhaps? Is it ethical? How do we know that new tools and procedures are better than the existing ones? Too many questions… New surgical technology promises improved patient care and, therefore, surgeons may hurry to adopt it despite little evidence or their advantage over existing procedures. Surgical procedures that are later found to be ineffective waste resources and endanger lives. Anything new must be carefully tested and proved in fact to be better. Therefore, the key to this problem is a cautious and total understanding from the surgeons and the patients of why such new procedures come to be offered as treatment. Let’s look in detail how this new medical technology gets adopted in the US. It may come in the form of: * a drug
* a device
* a procedure
* a technique
* a process of care
For the surgical technology in particular, new things come in the form of a new procedure that uses existing devices or drugs, or an existing procedure that uses new devices. Before adopting any new technology, people should seriously consider the following factors: * Will this new technology improve the quality of clinical care? * If found successful, will the inventor promote its rapid adoption? * How widely this new technology will be distributed?
* Will it pass all known and potential barriers for adoption, (financing, marketing, etc.)? * Is it compatible with...
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