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Technology in health care: Medical “early warning systems” may lighten the load on patient treatment systems

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Health care delivery today is beset by mounting costs and the demand for better care from an ever-increasing portion of the population. It would seem, then, that any device, technique, or system that could help reduce costs and/or do a job faster or better should be welcomed with open arms. But even though technology can help reduce costs — if quality remains fixed — it is more apt to raise costs when improving quality in some manner. And even then, according to some physicians1, the major emphasis on technology in the health care system has been at the end point — in treatment, rather than in diagnosis. It is easier to instrument an intensive care unit with monitors, for example, than it is to design systems that will permit early identification of medical problems.

Published in:

IEEE Spectrum  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 1 )