Crossing the Threshold: How Experimental Medical Technology Becomes Standard Care

Award Year:
Richard Deyo, Donald Patrick
Comparative Effectiveness Research, Medical Technology
New medical technologies are a leading cause of escalating health care costs. However, the process by which new technology is disseminated and utilized is highly variable. It is driven not only by scientific evidence but also by the high cultural value placed on health technology in the U.S., profit motives, political concerns, marketing, and the media. This project describes the transition of new technology from experimental to standard of care; the processes by which multiple stakeholders influence technology adoption; the ways in which evidence may be overwhelmed by political, socio-cultural, and financial forces; and the unintended medical, social, and economic consequences of disseminating unproven or marginal technology. Case studies of drugs, devices, behavioral regimens, and surgical innovations will be used to illustrate the process of adopting therapeutic technologies. The study also explores and critiques potential policy options for improving the process of technology adoption.