Why is the adoption of new technology so slow?

By Dr Alan Kwong Hing, DDS, MSc, chairman, PBM Group and A&H Academy

As we enter the new year, some questions dental professionals tend to ask are: What are the latest technologies? Which of these should we incorporate into our medical/dental practices? Should we adopt new innovations? How will this impact the delivery of patient care and overall performances of our offices?

Although there has been rapid advancement of technology, there is hesitancy, and adoption is relatively slow in medicine and dentistry compared to other sectors. It is frequently stated that it takes an average of 17 years of research to provide evidence of the efficacy of a new device or medications to reach mainstream clinical practice usage. In reality, how “new” is the new technology we are considering using?

RIGOROUS RESEARCH AND TESTING

Before a new medicine or medical/dental device can enter the market, it must undergo extensive preclinical research, clinical trials, and regulatory approval processes. These are to verify safety and efficacy, ensuring the new treatment meets stringent standards. Rigorous testing is essential to protect patient welfare, which can result in a substantial amount of time required to complete these steps.

REGULATORY HURDLES

Regulatory bodies play a crucial role in assessing the safety and efficacy of new medicines or medical/dental devices. Obtaining regulatory approval involves navigating complex procedures and regulations and paperwork, which can consume a significant amount of time and resources. Stringent evaluations, certifications, and compliance with various standards all contribute to the lengthy process of gaining regulatory clearance.

ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS

Cost/benefit is a significant factor in the adoption of new medicines or medical/ dental devices especially in a small office. Healthcare systems and providers need to evaluate the economic impact of integrating new treatments, considering factors such as affordability, reimbursement and cost-effectiveness compared to existing alternatives.

To read the full article, click here or refer to Dental Asia January/February 2024 issue.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Alan Kwong Hing DDS, MSc graduated with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree (with distinction) from the University of Western Ontario. He received the University Gold Medal and completed a concurrent Master’s Degree in Pathology with a focus on Bone Biology. He has earned multiple degrees and received numerous awards including the IADR predoctoral Hatton award.