The Social Value of New Technology
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The Social Value of New Technology

Edited by Albert N. Link and John T. Scott

New technologies, with their practical contributions, provide social value. The chapters in this volume view this social value from a program evaluation perspective, and the focus of the evaluations is the generation of new technology funded by public sector agencies. The authors provide important background on methodology and application and show that it is relevant not only to the established scholars and practitioners, but also to students.
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Chapter 4: The impact of public investment in medical imaging technology: an interagency collaboration in evaluation

Alan C. O'Connor, Albert N. Link, Brandon M. Down and Laura M. Hillier

Abstract

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) allied to analyze the impact of their investments in medical imaging research. The CFI funds capital and operating programs for research infrastructure, and CIHR’s mandate concentrates its funding on research activity. It happens that CIHR funded research consumes CFI-funded infrastructure as an input in the innovation process. Apart from a few partnered programs, by design there is no coordination between CFI and CIHR funding decisions. Together, these agencies invested $916 million over a 14 year-period. In this paper, we evaluate the economic and health benefits from advancements in one funded area, namely computed tomography perfusion (CTP). CTP is an imaging technique that uses computed tomography to measure blood flow in organs and tissues. It is mostly used to assess acute ischemic stroke. The net social benefits attributable to these investments are substantially positive: the benefit-to-cost ratio is estimated to be between 6.66-to-1 and 9.99-to-1. We review how public investments from multiple funders comingle in the innovation process to deliver social value and improved health outcomes.

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