The Economics of Medical Technology
Technological development has created major possibilities for the treatment of disease and for the disabled. The cost of new technologies has added considerably to health care cost intlation, which still exceeds the growth rates of most national economies. The share of national resources devoted to health care is still rising, although at a lesser pace than in the seventies. -Therefore, the use of medical technology confronts us with some of the major dilemmas in society today. The routine and intensive use of technology has transformed the most basic interpersonal and social features of medicine. It has altered the means through which patient and doctor communicate about illness as well as the content of this communication, changed the doctor's relationship to medical colleagues by increasing his dependence on them, altered the place and form of practice by creating advantages for the centralization of medical care in complex organizations, and created for society new responsibilities and powers to influence the context and scope of medical practice.