The Technology Revolution in Health Care
Posted at 9:45 a.m. on Feb. 22
Jonathan Cohn has a fascinating story on how the rise of new technologies, including IBM’s Watson supercomputer, could revolutionize the way we practice medicine.
“When we think of breakthroughs in medicine, we conjure up images of new drugs or new surgeries. When we think of changes to the health-care system, byzantine legislation comes to mind. But according to a growing number of observers, the next big thing to hit medical care will be new ways of accumulating, processing, and applying data.”
“Tools like Watson could enhance the abilities of professionals at every level, from highly specialized surgeons to medical assistants. As a result, physicians wouldn’t need to do as much, and each class of professionals beneath them could take on greater responsibility—creating a financially sustainable way to meet the aging population’s growing need for more health care.”
Matthew Yglesias: “My guess is that if anything, this technology panning out is going to drive spending up… Unit prices for diagnostic services would fall, but the quantity of services consumed would rise and the total volume of spending might go up.”