||Central Bank Of Barbados
"Health technologies have allowed us to carry out life-saving transplants, open heart surgery, and now key-hole surgery. They have allowed us to advance against one of the biggest killers, targeting cancer through radiology, nuclear medicine, the development of cytotoxic drugs, and new biological therapeutics. And health technology has allowed us to improve healthcare delivery, through diagnostic technology, prosthetics, and telemedicine that supports healthcare delivery, and through the development of electronic patient records that ensure continuity in care. Technology is allowing us to address both our collective and individual needs. Technology has led to the development of simple apps that link us to our primary care provider; and it facilitates the use of Big Data and artificial intelligence that allows us to monitor behaviours in health, through structured or non-structured data at the population level, guiding future public health policy decisions.
"Technology drives change, and change instigates transformation. Technology has revolutionized healthcare throughout history, through the discovery of the origin of vaccine inoculation by Jenner in the 18th century, in the field of microbiology by Koch in the 19th century, or indeed through the accidental discovery of penicillin by Fleming in the 20th century. Technology drives scientific discovery, and the generation of information and best evidence. And in doing so, it generates capacity within systems - educational, scientific and health systems. It supports the generation of capacity within our health workforce, to deliver highly resolutive and people-centred care that is built on evidence-based guidelines, and treatment protocols. And it provides us with the tools – the medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and equipment – to deal with the challenges in health of the 21st century.
"But ladies and gentlemen, there is a caveat here – and a very important one at that. While we acknowledge that technology is critical to achieving future advances in health, we must also acknowledge that not all technology provides real benefit over that which already exists! We have seen a proliferation of health technologies in recent years, some of which only provide incremental improvement over that which exists already – but at an enormous cost to the health system! Or indeed we have seen new technologies being promoted that in fact provide no added value over that which already exists."
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The 43rd Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture - Healthcare Reform and the Role of Technology.pdf