The steady escalation of health care costs, which are now increasing at an annual rate of 7% a year, is due in part to the use of new medical technology. The term “medical technology” refers to the procedures, equipment, and processes by which medical care is delivered.
For example, new medical and surgical procedures include such things as angioplasty and joint replacements, drugs currently in use (biological agents), and medical devices, like CT scanners, and implantable defibrillators, along with new support systems; electronic medical records, used for transmission of information, and telemedicine. There is now a need for medical technology insurance in San Francisco to provide for all of these new changes.
Medical technology provides major advances to medical treatment
Researchers generally agree that, most advances in medical technology have contributed in one way or another to the overall rise in U.S. health care spending, but the benefits are undeniable as we can now help more people, which includes providing long-term maintenance therapy for treatment of such diseases as diabetes, end-stage renal disease, and AIDS, in ways that were unimaginable even a decade ago:
- Development of new treatments for previously untreatable terminal conditions
- Major advances in clinical ability to treat previously untreatable acute conditions, (i.e. coronary artery bypass graft)
- Development of new procedures for discovering and treating secondary diseases within a disease (such as erythropoietin to treat anemia in dialysis patients)
- Expansion of the indications for a treatment over time, increasing the patient population to which the treatment is applied, and
- On-going, incremental improvements in existing capabilities
However, many medical technology firms store vast amounts of data relating to their patients. This also includes data on doctors who use and prescribe devices for patients in need certain medical products, as well as clinical trial subjects. Data may include items such as medical histories and financial information. Firms responsible for this data must do so responsibly, in order to preserve and protect it so that it does not fall into the hands of unauthorized parties.
The fact that these computer systems and high-tech products are vulnerable to intrusion and hacking has serious consequences. One concern is that many practitioners lack the proper security and fall prey to lax data security procedures. The use of cloud computing also heightens the need to implement higher data security.
The promise of better health through improvements in medicine will increase the demand for technology insurance in San Francisco for the new risks and exposures associated with this progression in treatment.