Case study: Harmonising HTA
What did we do?
We played a key role in an international collaboration to consider how to assess disruptive technologies.
In 2018, International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) members identified ‘hot topics’ that were in need of position statements from a public agency perspective.
One area of focus was disruptive technologies: innovative technologies that will significantly alter the way care is delivered. In response, we facilitated discussions on disruptive technologies at a World Café event at the 2018 INAHTA Congress.
The INAHTA Congress led an international task group, which included representatives from our team and members from Germany, Argentina, Canada, Italy, Malaysia, South Africa, and Taiwan. The task group’s aims are to:
- Develop a common understanding of what a ‘disruptive health technology’ is and how it’s different from incremental technological developments.
- Develop recommendations for how HTA agencies should deal with disruptive technologies.
- Determine if there are any special considerations for disruptive technologies when undertaking HTA.
Our information specialist and researchers designed, refined and ran searches to identify relevant literature on the topic.
What were the reactions?
The rapid data collection exercise at the INAHTA Congress attracted a lot of interest and a high level of engagement. The task group was grateful for our practical contributions, including literature searching to support development of the position statement.
What did we learn?
The discussions we led gave insight into the collective knowledge of individuals from international HTA agencies. They highlighted a lack of clarity about the criteria for identifying disruptive technologies, and potential for methodological uncertainties. Our researchers are able to recognise opportunities to appraise such topics, and have a better awareness of the methodological challenges.
What difference did this make?
Volunteering to take a lead role provided us with an opportunity to secure a positive international reputation, and to put Wales firmly on the HTA map. Our team helped to share the burden of this work and speed up development of the disruptive technologies position statement.
The collaborative nature of this project avoids duplication of efforts among HTA agencies and will help to facilitate a consistent global approach to the evaluation of disruptive technologies.
The task group’s work is ongoing and we are preparing a paper for publication based on this international collaboration.