HTSR and translational research
Health technologies affect health services and, consequently, the quality of individual patient health care. Whereas health technology can be defined quite broadly, HTSR specifically investigates the application of new instrumentation, devices and other tools which seek to realize personalized health care. In particular, bio- information- and nanotechnologies that allow better and more detailed diagnosis (e.g. medical imaging) and technologies that allow assessment and monitoring of critical factors in chronically ill patients, like in-vitro diagnostics built into a lab-on-a-chip are expected to have a large impact on health and health care. HTSR evaluates product technologies as integral to quality health care for the individual patient. Quality of health care is defined based on the definition by the US National Academies’ Institute of Medicine: ‘degree to which health services for individuals or populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with the current professional knowledge’ .
HTSR research engages multiple stakeholders
The focus of the department HTSR lies in the methodological assessment of the advantages,
disadvantages and use of early health technologies from the patients’ and societal perspective. This includes research into the effect of a new technology on clinical outcomes, quality of health care, delivery of health services, and the associated health care costs. The organization and financial arrangements in the health care system and patient values, which underpin patient heterogeneity, are important determinants of the appropriate use of technology and as such are an integral part of our research regarding implementation and use of technologies.
HTSR informs decision makers even before technologies come to the bedside
The department HTSR informs various stakeholders at different levels by conducting non-clinical, early stage and clinical research. Key stakeholders are situated at the micro- and macro levels and include for example governmental decision makers and regulators, clinicians, health professionals, biomedical technical engineers and patients. Even before technologies enter the bedside, HTSR research informs stakeholders about the impact of such technologies on health gain, organizational consequences and health care costs. The research portfolio, therefore, combines early stage assessments using several data sources next to clinical studies involving real patients.