Health Technology Assessment

What is a Health Technology? Any form of intervention to improve health, such as drugs, devices, diagnostic tests, medical equipment and procedures relating to health care and its services, including prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a condition.

A medical technology includes medical devices, in vitro diagnostics, imaging equipment and e-health solutions used to diagnose, monitor, assess predispositions and treat patients suffering from a wide range of conditions.

What is a Health Technology Assessment?
A health technology assessment (HTA) is the systematic evaluation of the intended and unintended effects of health technologies on the lives of patients and the health care systems, and society such as: 

  • The clinical effectiveness, or how well a therapeutic health technology works in the ‘real‐world’ 
  • The clinical utility of diagnostic tests, or how the information provided by a test helps patients make better choices on their health and health care professionals can select the most advantageous management strategy while the health system can keep working properly,
  • The cost‐effectiveness, showing whether a health technology will provide value for money compared with another technology,
  • The socio-economic benefits of health technologies, such as the ability of the people to return to work sooner, the improvement in the quality of life, and the lower financial and emotional burden for family and carers if the patient can be managed at home and disease progression is avoided,
  • The ethical and legal impacts

The main purpose of HTA is to inform health care policy and decision makers on whether to reimburse and use a technology and if so, how it is best used and who will benefit most from it.

How is HTA done?
HTA differs according to the type of questions decision makers ask over the technology being reviewed, but the main principles are the same: they are systematic evaluations of the properties and effects of the technology. They are conducted by interdisciplinary groups and use a variety of scientific methods, including statistics and health economics, and reviewing data (clinical, economic and increasingly patient outcomes data). Stakeholder involvement (patients, doctors, decision makers and technology manufacturers) is key to the success of an HTA as many contextual factors impact the way the HTA is done, as well as its result and its acceptance.

MedTech Europe and HTA 
MedTech Europe works closely with the European Commission and stakeholders to make sure that the specificities of medical technologies and market access pathways are recognised, and that the HTA is made fit-for-purpose. MedTech Europe supports an appropriate policy environment to foster the development and access to innovative and valuable medical technologies, and works to ensure the value they bring to patients, society and health systems is adequately recognised. 

MedTech Europe is engaged with EUnetHTA JA 3 and is an observer at the European HTA Network. MedTech Europe also contributes to European Research initiatives and engagement at HTA International conferences and Special interest groups.

Position paper

HTA for IVDs in the Context of Market Access

In this Position Paper, MedTech Europe comments on several points of significant importance needed to ensure equitable patient access to IVDs and to treatment in Europe. This Position Paper also serves to delineate our vision for the future of HTA for IVDs in the context of Europe’s market access environment.
Position paper

The value of industry involvement in HTA

The healthcare industry believes it can be a valuable partner in the overall HTA process, acknowledging agencies must retain their independence in providing advice to payers and governments. Most systems have evolved over time and strive to increase industry engagement, both at the policy level with representative associations and in specific technology assessment processes with manufacturers. This evolution is crucial as it will lead to system and methods improvements.
Position paper

Medical Device Industry Position on HTA

HTA is influencing the degree to which technologies are adopted in practice. Whilst endorsing the value of HTA, Medtech Europe aims to ensure that it is applied in an appropriate manner. This Position Paper highlights the key views that MedTech Europe considers vital to the appropriate application of HTA.