Economic and policy issues increasingly influence healthcare technology solutions as we wrestle with keeping healthcare quality high while keeping costs under control. The healthcare system is also undergoing rapid change brought about by managed care, shifting care to team providers in an outpatient or home environment. The development of health technologies under new market arrangements needs to be examined so that quality of care and cost are not at cross roads. As these issues continue to evolve in the public forum, it is critical for engineers and contributors to technology in healthcare to understand the dynamics that influence technology need and and adoption in the healthcare market. We hope that this special issue will provide a basis for initial understanding of these issues and stimulate further involvement by the bioengineering community at large, for the improvement of healthcare across all of society.
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