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Forhelse attended HTAi 2024. An introduction to early Health Technology Assessment

Linn Støme, OUS

In June researchers at Forhelse SFI participated at the annual HTAi, Health Technology Assessment conference on early method assessment,in Sevilla. (Photo: PhD Linn Støme, OUS / Group leader early HTA at Forhelse, Helse Bergen).

Oslo University Hospital (research partner at Forhelse SFI) organized a workshop at the conference in collaboration with Nottingham University Hospitals Trust and Radboudumc, Nijmegen. Representatives from the NHS in England, the pharmaceutical industry from Australia and non-profit health organizations from the USA were participating.

During the workshop, we had good discussions on how early health technology assessment (early HTA) can promote good health innovations to patient groups who need them. Furthermore, we talked about opportunities to integrate an environmental perspective in the assessments.

The Theme for the HTAi 2024 conference: “A Turning Point for HTA? Sustainability, Networks and Innovation.”
Over the past few years, the healthcare sector has undergone significant changes. Digital health solutions, personalized medicine, AI, nanotechnology, bioprinting, Big Data, and Multi-Omics are only a few examples of new technologies and innovations that have been acknowledged as potentially disruptive. These developments have created novel challenges for HTA agencies and, more than ever, their assessment will require a wide multiplicity of expertise.

Kari Kværner, OUS and Janneke Grutters, Nijmegen
Photo from left: PhD Janneke Grutters, Radboudumc,
Nijmegen and Director of Innovation Kari Kværner,
Oslo University Hospital.

Methods to assess value before clinical evidence is available

Early HTA provides a unique opportunity to facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement and co-create healthcare innovations that meet society’s needs. Early HTA aims at steering both the development of and evidence generation on innovative technologies.

In our workshop we provided a practical and interactive introduction to state-of-the-art methods to assess (potential) value before clinical evidence is available. We explained how multi-stakeholder engagement and a mixed-methods approach could support the early evaluation of innovations by 1) discussing the underlying theoretical principles, and 2) applying and explaining methods to conduct early HTA.

Session’s target audience
This course was useful for anyone involved in the development or assessment of innovative healthcare technologies, for example within medtech companies, HTA bodies, hospitals, patient organizations or academia. We expected participants to have a basic understanding of health economics and HTA. The focus was on non-drug technologies.

HTAi 2025
Next year the HTAi conference will be arranged in Buenos Aires. We then plan to run a similar workshop with mental health as the theme, and use cases from our research at Forhelse SFI.