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Medical Technology Policies and Computed Tomography

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Center for the Analysis of Health Practices, Harvard School of Public Health; Boston, Massachusetts

© 1979 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1979;90(1):114-115. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-90-1-114
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Computed tomography (CT) has been a cause célèbre in the American health care community since it was introduced into the United States in 1973. The CT scanner was then a dramatically new and expensive imaging device. Like a seed crystal dropped into a supersaturated solution, it became the focus of a rapidly expanding controversy over the value and cost of new medical technology.

In August 1978, the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) of the Congress of the United States published its report on the policy implications of computed tomography (1). This wide-ranging and well-organized document describes the principles of computed


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