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Is technology becoming over relied upon?

I was at a presentation by Dave Fevre recently where he spoke of his concern on the reliance of technology in place of clinical assessment and treatment.

I was at a presentation by Dave Fevre recently where he spoke of his concern on the reliance on technology in place of actual clinical assessment and treatment. He was specifically discussing that clinical assessments were being used less, in favour of sending players for scans. This particularly resonated with me as we are currently looking into distributing a diagnostic ultrasound system. I have known Dave for over ten years and have supported him on several technologies he uses regularly in his practice. It is people like Dave that help us to decide on which technologies we should work with and which aren’t going to have the impact needed for them to be a success.

One of the reasons we started looking at diagnostic ultrasound is due to a conversation I had with Professor Tim Watson. We were discussing the best ways to use focused shockwave and he supported using this in combination with diagnostic ultrasound. As Piezowave2 allows you to target specific tissue depths, it is very helpful to scan before to identify the area which needs to be treated. I completely agree that a scan alone is not enough to decide the best clinical intervention, as there can be many other factors that play a role. These conversations made me want to write a blog from the perspective of a distributor as a lot of thought goes into the technology we decide to represent.

Being a distributor of medical technology, we are obviously pro the use of equipment within treatment and rehabilitation. However, we only support its use in the right context. All of our team are clear to point of that investing in technology is a waste of time and money if it is not going to be used with the right patient, at the right time, and in the right way. I gave a presentation to Biomedical engineering students at University of Bolton recently discussing what are our key components of equipment selection. These are:

  • Significant clinical impact – does it have a clear enhanced outcome for clinician and patient
  • Easy to use – can the clinician use the equipment easily and with confidence?
  • A specific place in a clinical pathway – is there a specific time within the treatment(s) when using the equipment is appropriate and does it have ‘point 1’?
  • Financial ROI – does it reduce cost or generate income, depending on which environment it is being used in?

If all of these questions are answered with a yes, then it is something we will seriously look at distributing. I also pay close attention to the culture and personalities involved with the manufacturer.

Physiquipe positions itself as a consultant to our clients, adding significant value both clinically and financially. We are approached by many companies who want us to sell their products. We are very stringent to ensure that the products we select meet all of the above criteria. I believe this is one of the main reasons that we have been successful and our clients are very open and willing to look at technology that we present to them.

Going back to Dave’s comment regarding technology being over-relied upon, I can certainly appreciate his concern. This is why, even though we are in the business of selling as much business as possible, we listen to what our customers needs are and are very transparent with if we think it will meet these. We also run many training courses and in-service training to ensure that none of our technology sits in the corner or a cupboard! If you are interested in discussing your clinical requirements we would be very happy to see if we can help.

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