Disruptive technologies in health care: something to chew on

Disruptive technologies in health care disenchanted: a systematic review of concepts and examples


It looks as though the concept of “disruptive technology” in the health sector is turning heads. It is peppered across papers, mentioned in all discussions, raise concerns, alarms, triggers thoughts and stimulate debates. All things useful, in a nutshell.


To paraphrase Sir Ivor Jenning’s legal metaphor (in The Victorian Constitution) it is a concept “somewhat vague and slippery, resembling the procreation of eels”. Or to put it bluntly: it may require clarification, a clear perspective and a delineation of opportunities and threats.


Decide Board member INAHTA offered an extremely useful and timely support to better grasping the issue in its recent position statement on disruptive technologies published earlier this year. The way disruptive technologies could potentially alter models of care calls for more thorough evaluation, underlined INAHTA in March 2022 (click here to learn more).


Since then, an extremely interested study was published in the International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Carek, back in May. Disruptive technologies in health care disenchanted: a systematic review of concepts and examples reviews papers and publications focusing on healthcare technologies deemed disruptives.


While the process, findings and lessons learnet cannot be unveiled here (click here to access the study), the conclusion of the article is worth quoting.


Since truly disruptive technologies could radically change technology uptake and may modify provision of care patterns or treatment paths, they require a thorough evaluation of the consequences of using these technologies, including economic and organizational impact assessment and careful monitoring.


This call for more substantial research to contribute to debunking or exploring the topic is perfectly congruent with INAHTA’s position statement, and in very similar terms!



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