These 10 Healthcare Technologies are Impacting C-Suite Decision Making (Part 2 of 2)

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Continuing with our look at an article by Ryan Chiavetta and Chelsea Rice from HealthLeaders Media detailing the 10 C-Suite Watch List, a compilation of technologies and areas of technology the ECRI Institute believes healthcare executives should be closely watching, we move on to the final five.

As with the fifth area on the list—full-scale angiography systems–the sixth technology is also a hybrid machine, this time for oncology: the PET/MR scanner, a vast improvement, the authors note, over the old PET/CR scanner. The PET/MR scanner helps oncologists gain “greater detail of internal structures and the possibility of helping physicians detect tumors and cancers” more readily.

The seventh technology addresses the obesity epidemic that has the nation in a stranglehold: bariatric surgery and how it can help in treating Type II diabetes. Writes Chiavetta and Rice, “When these patients undergo bariatric surgery in order to maintain their obesity, many find that their diabetes resolves, even before any pounds are shed.”

MR-compatible pacemakers occupy the eighth spot on the 10 C-Suite Watch List. While an MR-compatible pacemaker is more expensive, ECRI believes “the additional cost will be worth it to patients” since “50-75 percent…with an implantable aortic device [will need] an MRI in their lifetime.”

The negative effects of CT radiation are gaining increased scrutiny within the medical community, and as a result, radiation dose safety comprises the ninth technological area listed. According to the authors, “‘Iterative reconstruction,’ a technique that reduces noise in the image when low radiation doses are used, helps improve image quality, while methods will need to be developed for physicians to monitor the radiation doses their patient receives.”

Finally, lung cancer screenings is listed as the tenth technology to watch. “Lung cancer has been a difficult diagnosis for physicians in its early stages, and since the disease is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the country, a screening process has been sought for many years,” Chiavetta and Rice report. So far, there has been some success with the National Lung Screening Trial and the hospitals that have begun using those screenings, but “many questions remain, including situations of false positives, quality of life, and cost effectiveness.”

What are your thoughts on this list? What technological trends are you keeping an eye on? What technologies has your organization implemented recently? What technologies are you planning to implement in the near future?

-by Pete Fernbaugh

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