Introduction: Continuous ageing of the population coupled with growing health consciousness and continuous technological advances have fueled the rapid rise in healthcare costs in the United States and Europe for the past several decades. The exact impact of new medical technology on long-term spending growth remains the subject of controversy. By all measures it is apparent that new medical technology is the dominant driver of increases in health-care costs and hence insurance premiums.
Objective: This paper addresses the impact of medical technology on healthcare delivery systems with regard to medical practice and costs. We first explore factors affecting the growth of medical technology and then attempt to provide a means for assessing the effectiveness of medical technology.
Discussion: Avoidable healthcare cost drivers are identified and related policy issues are discussed.