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    The ophthalmic technology flood

    How much high tech do we need for our practices?

     

    Too much

    I believe we are oversupplied by technology, the capabilities of which have made it possible for the industry to suggest applications, innovations, instruments and other devices that purport to help us in our performance.

    The cost of this falls on the surgeons and institutions investing in them. Unless healthcare systems provide extra payments for procedures such as astigmatic keratotomy with femtosecond lasers (which is no more successful than diamond knife incisions), then surgical teams lose out.

    It is probably time to return to our real needs. Industry and physicians should work together to satisfy demands with real, effective tools. In a global environment in which healthcare costs are mounting, it is our obligation and that of the industry to establish the needs of expensive technologies that have relatively short obsolescence periods and give no clear benefit to our patients.

    The industry should create consultancy groups, cooperating with them in order to establish, on a preliminary basis, which innovations are really relevant, while those that are just prototypes with potential benefits should be adequately studied.

    Scientific ophthalmic societies should take charge of this endeavour as well, in order to provide clarity without commercial bias, and so give real guidance on this issue.

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