chapter  10
High-Tech Medicine
WithEli Ginzberg
Pages 7

This chapter offers an operational definition of the term high-tech medicine (HTM) and examines the supporting arguments for the claim that HTM is the principal propellant of escalating health care cost and that it is often counterproductive. It reviews the role of public policy in speeding the growth of HTM. High-tech medicine may be defined simply and comprehensively as the sum of all the advances in medical knowledge and technique that have been translated into improved diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative procedures during the past several decades. Since the end of World War II, HTM has become synonymous with American medicine as perceived by mainstream society, the profession, and the world at large. The leading centers of medical education shifted their focal interest many degrees from the instruction of undergraduate medical students to biomedical research. The chapter concludes with some forecasts about the probable impact of HTM on future US health care costs.