Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is an important tool for Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR). It is used to assess the value and cost-effectiveness of medical technologies and interventions. Right here you can find everything you need to know about HEOR, and below we’ll look at what HTAs are and how they are related.
Definition of Health Technology Assessment (HTA)
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health technology assessment is a systematic and interdisciplinary evaluation of the properties of medical technologies and interventions, including their direct and indirect effects. It is a process that determines the value of healthcare technology and provides information about how it might be used.
HTA includes the study of:
- the clinical effectiveness of new medical technologies;
- their safety;
- impact on patients;
- impact on public health;
- health care costs.
HTA also looks at alternative treatments and compares their advantages and disadvantages.
HTA is widely used by government agencies, insurance companies, and other stakeholders to make decisions. It helps determine:
- which new medical technologies should be included in health care standards;
- how to regulate drug prices;
- which technologies should be available to patients and which require further research.
In this way, HTA helps make political and economic decisions about health care.
HTA in Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR)
Health Economics and Outcomes Research is a field of research that integrates economic, clinical, and outcome data to evaluate the effectiveness of medical technologies, drugs, procedures, and interventions in the healthcare context. In other words, HEOR is a broader field that combines economic, clinical, and outcome data to evaluate the effectiveness of medical technologies and interventions. HTA, in turn, is one of the tools of HEOR and represents a systematic approach to the evaluation of medical technologies.
The goal of HTA and HEOR is to provide objective information and evidence that can help make healthcare decisions. This includes:
- determining which medical technologies should be included in the standard of care;
- which modalities have the best value for money;
- how to use limited resources in the best way to achieve the best outcomes for patients and society as a whole.
The results of HTA and HEOR research help to make informed decisions about the implementation of medical technologies in the healthcare system and the optimal use of resources to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.
Key components of HTA in HEOR
In HEOR, HTA results are used to evaluate the effectiveness, safety, cost-effectiveness, and social impact of new medical technologies.
Key components of HTA in HEOR include:
- Clinical Effectiveness Assessment. It involves the analysis of scientific evidence, such as the results of clinical trials and observational studies, to assess the effectiveness of medical technologies, drugs, and interventions.
- Economic evaluation and cost-effectiveness analysis, which includes an analysis of the cost of medical technologies and interventions and their impact on healthcare costs and healthcare resources.
- Assessment of the social and ethical impact of medical technologies on patients, society and health care in general. This includes an assessment of equality of access to technology, compliance with ethical principles, and social justice.
- Assessment of safety and adverse events. It includes an analysis of data on adverse events and side effects of medical technologies and interventions.
- Patient-centred assessment of outcomes, which includes assessment of the impact of new technologies and interventions on quality of life, functionality, patient satisfaction and other aspects that are important from the patient’s point of view.
- Decision-making. Based on assessments of effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and social impact, HTA provides information for health care decision-making. Decisions may include incorporating technology into standard practice, recommending use, pricing and reimbursement, and developing health care policy.
- Feedback and monitoring. HTA also includes feedback and monitoring of health technology implementation. This assesses how effectively and safely a new technology works in actual clinical practice and how its use affects patient health outcomes.
All of these components of HTA in HEOR help to make informed decisions about the implementation of medical technology in the healthcare system and the optimal use of resources to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.
HTA implementation and decision making
Most countries are facing challenges to the sustainability of health systems due to increased healthcare spending while facing budgetary constraints from the 2008 economic crisis. One of the factors having the greatest impact on rising healthcare costs is the adoption of new healthcare technologies. It is important to note that technology in health care plays a key role in providing high-quality care. However, not every innovation is a health-promoting or cost-effective improvement.
The 2010 State of World Health Report notes that waste in the production of drugs and medical technology is a major cause of inefficiencies in health care delivery. Optimal delivery of public health services requires prioritizing investment decisions using tools that support policy decisions, such as health technology assessments. Currently, the leading countries of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe have implemented various forms of publicly funded health HTA process. However, there is still considerable unevenness in the development of HTA structures and in the methods and processes used.
Challenges and Future Directions in HTA
Future directions for HTA include the following:
- Expanding assessment coverage. One of the major challenges in HTA is the limited scope of health technology assessment. Expansion of assessment coverage to new areas such as digital technologies, genomic medicine, preventive modalities, and non-medical health approaches can be expected in the future.
- Consideration of value to patients. This includes assessing the benefits achieved for patients in terms of improved quality of life, satisfaction with treatment outcomes, and relevance to patient needs.
- Use of real-world data. In the future, HTA will increasingly rely on real-world data about health outcomes and population health, which includes using data from electronic health records, disease registries, and other sources to produce more accurate and reliable assessment results.
- Taking social and economic considerations into account. This includes the assessment of social impact, equity of access, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of the health system.
- Future developments and improvements in HTA methodologies and processes are expected. This includes the development of more accurate evaluation models, standardization of methodological approaches, consideration of uncertainty, and development of best practices in evaluations.
- An important aspect of the future of HTA is the strengthening of interdisciplinary collaboration. This includes collaboration among experts in medicine, economics, sociology, statistics, and other fields to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive evaluation of healthcare technologies.
These areas of development will help improve the quality of healthcare decision-making and ensure more efficient use of resources.
The HTA is an important tool for evaluating the cost-effectiveness and clinical value of medical technologies. In the future, the HTA will include new areas, consider patient value, and use real-world data. It will also pay more attention to social and economic aspects, improve methodology and processes, and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration. HTA will remain a key tool for making informed healthcare decisions.