Background: With the development of computer technology and the high-tech electronic industry over the past 30 years, the technological age is flourishing. New technologies are continually being introduced, but questions regarding the economic viability of these technologies should be addressed.
Objectives: To identify the medical technologies that are currently in use in different rehabilitation medicine settings in Israel
Methods: The TECHNO-R 2005 survey was conducted in two phases. Beginning in 2004, the first survey used a questionnaire with open questions relating to the different technologies in clinical use, including questions on their purpose, who operates the device (technician, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, physician, etc.), and a description of the treated patients. This questionnaire was sent to 31 rehabilitation medicine facilities in Israel. Due to difficulties in comprehension of the term “technology,” a second revised standardized questionnaire with closed-ended questions specifying diverse technologies was introduced in 2005. The responder had to mark from a list of 15 different medical technologies which were in use in his or her facility, as well as their purpose, who operates the device, and a description of the treated patients.
Results: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, the TILT bed, continuous passive movement, and therapeutic ultrasound were the most widely used technologies in rehabilitation medicine facilities. Monitoring of the sitting position in the wheelchair, at the bottom of the list, was found to be the least used technology (with 15.4% occurrence). Most of the technologies are used primarily for treatment purposes and to a lesser degree for diagnosis and research.
Conclusions: Our study poses a fundamental semantic and conceptual question regarding what kind of technologies are or should be part of the standard equipment of any accredited rehabilitation medicine facility for assessment, treatment and/or research. For this purpose, additional data are needed.