Technological development has created major possibilities for the treatment of disease and for the disabled. The cost of new technologies has added considerably to health care cost intlation, which still exceeds the growth rates of most national economies. The share of national resources devoted to health care is still rising, although at a lesser pace than in the seventies. -Therefore, the use of medical technology confronts us with some of the major dilemmas in society today. The routine and intensive use of technology has transformed the most basic interpersonal and social features of medicine. It has altered the means through which patient and doctor communicate about illness as well as the content of this communication, changed the doctor's relationship to medical colleagues by increasing his dependence on them, altered the place and form of practice by creating advantages for the centralization of medical care in complex organizations, and created for society new responsibilities and powers to influence the context and scope of medical practice.
Table of Contents1 Introduction.- 2 The Early Assessment of Health Care Technology: Introducing the Artificial Heart.- 3 The Marketplace for Medical Technology.- 4 The Transfer of Medical Technology in Developing Countries: The Case of Brazil.- 5 Public Control of the Diffusion of Health Technology.- 6 Diffusion of Medical Technology: A Case Study of Policy in Europe and the Netherlands.- 7 Economic Techniques for Technology Assessment.- 8 Technology Assessment in Europe: Its Present and Future Roles.- 9 A Working View of Technology Assessment: The Case of Digital Substraction Angiography.- 10 Changing Environment: Decentralized Use of Medical Technology.- 11 The Birth and Development of an Innovation: The Case of Magnetic Resonance Imaging.- 12 Economics and the Rational Use of Medical Technology.- 13 Ethical Aspects of Medical Technology.- 14 Educational Aspects of the Economics of Medical Technology.- 15 General Conclusions.