Risk vs Reward in Healthcare in Adopting New Technology

In understanding the concepts of Risk vs Reward in Healthcare it is best to start with an understanding of the word risk and its definitions. In economics, the term “risk” refers to the chances that an investment may not yield profit, or that the profit yielded may be less than the amount invested. If the investment, however, yields a high increase in comparison to the investment put in, it is termed a “reward”. Typically, in the business world, before an individual or organization makes a financial investment, or go into a new venture, they calculate the risk vs reward ratio by dividing the amount they stand to lose if the investment does not meet the required expectation, by the expected gain if the investment yields a profit; this is known as the  Risk/Reward ratio which can be calculated here.The greater the risk, the greater the reward or loss.


Risk vs Reward in Healthcare Industry, like any other, is constantly striving for increased gains or rewards asides from ensuring better health for the population. These gains could be in terms of financial rewards, or better patient performance. The goal of the industry is to achieve optimal health of the population, at the least possible cost and so policies or strategies adopted, are those that would help achieve that. Stakeholders in the healthcare industry which include healthcare providers, health insurance providers, and patients have to calculate the risk vs reward ratio of any new policy before adopting it.


The Application of Risk vs Reward in Healthcare

The healthcare industry is multi-faceted and comprises a variety of stakeholders as stated above, hence there are various areas where risk vs rewards ratio can be evaluated before decisions are made. One major area has been in adopting new technology. The increased presence of technology and its applications in the healthcare industry has put healthcare management and practitioners in situations where they have to either choose to adopt a new technology or not. This choice often if not always requires a Risk vs Reward assessment. What do they stand to gain if they adopt a new healthcare technology or advancement? What do they stand to lose if they adopt it or if they do not adopt it? These are the major questions that go into a Risk vs Reward in Healthcare assessment. Considering the plethora of breakthroughs in healthcare let’s discuss some of them and their Risk vs Reward assessment.

Breakthroughs in Healthcare

Needle-Free Injections

We all went through at least tone scary experience as a kid when we had to get shots and we were scared of the needles. Same goes for a lot of adults myself included. So having the invention of Needle-free injections will come as a relief to many adults and to every kid worldwide. The Needle-free injections were invented by an MIT startup company and they say their injection device requires no needles. The device uses high-pressure to inject the medication into the bloodstream through the skin. This does away with the painful needle poke. For healthcare organizations, they would have to evaluate the Risk vs Reward of adapting this technology. Possible reward is having happier patients and gaining more traction and new patients who are escaping needles. Possible risk, these advantages, and rewards are not significant enough and the healthcare organization must end up spending the money for acquiring the technology for no reason. Another risk is the technology malfunctioning or not performing properly – this is always a risk with new technology.

Medicinal Contact Lenses

Another new innovation in healthcare aided by technology is the invention of medicinal contact lenses. These contact lenses are said to treat eye problems while being worn. Users wear them for at most two weeks and in that time they would provide treatment to the users eye condition such as glaucoma. The innovation came out of the Harvard University.

Medical Drones

This innovation helps solve a social problem of healthcare. Medical drones help to deliver medication to isolated areas that are hard to reach. This solves a big problem as some of these remote areas from inaccessibility to healthcare and to medication. Drone delivery makes sure that medication is properly delivered and it also reduces cost. A healthcare organization that is interested in expanding its reach to remote areas would greatly consider the risk vs reward of adopting this technology and either buying some drones for medication delivery or using the services of a drone company.

Synthetic Skin

The advancement in bioengineering is one that many people are interested in. The technology which is said to mimic real skin can be applied to and used to greatly improve skin grafting and treat patients with skin issues. It could also be used in reconstructive surgery for both minor and severe skin issues and also for burn victims. In addition, the plastic surgery industry will have a field day if they can use this technology to have advanced plastic surgeries both for treatment purposed and for cosmetic surgeries. For a healthcare organization that is an industry leader in skin treatments or is very advanced in that field, strong consideration of the risk vs reward of adapting this technology would be something that they would have to do.

There are technology innovations every day but these innovations have no guarantee that they would stand the test of time or that they would survive commercial use and everyday applications. These factors must be taken into consideration when choosing to adopt new technology. All in all, the healthcare industry continues and will continue to move forward with innovations and with providing optimal care to patients.