Health technology assessment (HTA) is the research which supports decisions on development and adoption of new medical technologies. HTA involves both legal, ethical, regulatory and economic aspects in evaluation of new technologies. Patients’perspectives are increasingly included in this process. While in the early days of HTA the technologies have been assessed in later stages of development, nowadays increasing pressure on healthcare budgets shifts the assessment to early stages of development. The figure illustrates the various stages in medical technology development, and the possibilities for HTA.
HTA can help making decisions about product development for a.o. governmental decision makers and medical technology developers.
Health technology assessment at HTSR aims mainly at early assessment of technologies. Even before technologies enter the bedside, HTSR informs stakeholders about the impact of such technologies on health gain, organizational consequences and health care costs.
HTSR focuses on methodological assessment of advantages, disadvantages and use of early health technologies from patients’ and societal perspective, in order to support decision making.
This includes research into the effect of a new technology on clinical outcomes, quality of health care, health services, and associated health care costs.
For instance, HTSR may study changes in health care costs due to new medical technology. The organization of the health care system is an important determinant of the appropriate use of technology and as such will be an integral part of our research regarding implementation.
Various tools can be used for evaluation by different users. Examples are given in the figure. For more details you can look at
•Early Health Technology Assessment
•Business case analysis
•Health economic modeling
•Horizon scanning and scenario analysis
•Medical decision support
•Patient preference studies
•Technology developers; biomedical technical engineers from companies and universities
-Early stage researchers use knowledge of end-user preferences for development of their technology
-Technology in a later stage of development can be optimized or market delivery can be improved
•Hospitals; clinicians and hospital managers
•Healthcare organizations; health professionals
•Governmental decision makers
•Health care insurance companies