SYM-09: Health Technology Assessment (HTA)


Leandro Pecchia

University of Warwick, UK

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is a multidiscipline and multi-sectorial structured process aiming to inform decisions regarding healthcare technologies at different levels: from hospital level (i.e. inform the acquisition of costly medical devices), to Regional/ National level (i.e. recommend the adoption of a new healthcare technology to the NHS), or international levels (i.e. inform large-scale prevention/intervention campaigns).
The definition of health technology is very broad and refers to any application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of medicines, medical devices, vaccines, procedures and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of life. Nevertheless, to date the majority of HTA training activities and materials are more focused on drugs (i.e. less on medical devices or ICT applications for healthcare) and oriented to medical doctors, health economists and pharmacologists. However, although several training activities have been developed for medical doctors, health economists and pharmacologists, there is a lack of training opportunities specifically oriented to researchers and professionals with other technical backgrounds, who are daily involved in the design, validation, selection, maintenance and use of healthcare technologies, and particularly medical devices and eHealth.
This is the case of biomedical engineers (BME), working in research, manufacturing and/or National Health Systems/Services, interacting continuously with clinicians, health economists, hospital managers and patients.
This training session speaks directly to PhD students, early career researchers and academics, who are working on healthcare technologies, and aims to provide them with an introduction to theoretical and practical HTA methods and tools.

Moreover, the eLearning platform and contents developed by the IFMBE HTA Division will be presented. This platform, which will be open to all the IFMBE federated societies members in November 2016 ( contains more than 40 hours of practical and theoretical lectures on HTA methods, tools and case studies.

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