EHDEN Academy launches 16th course: Introduction to Health Technology Assessment

The EHDEN Academy, in collaboration with our guest lecturers, Pilar Pinilla-Dominguez and Alan Lamb, are pleased to announce the launch of our next course: Introduction to health technology assessment. The Academy is free, used in more than 60 countries, and only requires a participant to set up an account and log in.

This six-chapter course, our sixteenth, was developed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)’s Science Policy and Research programme and NICE International programme. It provides a summary of the basic concepts that underpin NICE’s guidance-producing activities. These include the principle of opportunity cost, and the methods used to assess the clinical and cost effectiveness of health technologies. The course also explains how real-world evidence (RWE)—such as observational data, collected outside a clinical trial—can be used to inform HTA methods and processes. It describes the potential benefits this kind of data can provide for healthcare decision- making, and the barriers that might prevent an HTA agency from using it. This course is the first in a series to be included in an HTA learning pathway, with more courses to follow.

“HTA organisations are increasingly turning their attention to RWE (real world evidence) as a resource to resolve knowledge gaps and inform their evidence-based decisions about healthcare technologies. These decisions have major implications for patients, clinicians, and care pathways, so it’s important that HTA methods are transparent and widely understood. The new EHDEN Academy course provides an accessible introduction to how HTA organisations evaluate the clinical and economic benefits of healthcare technologies, and how RWE—and therefore networks like EHDEN—can be harnessed for this purpose", said Jamie Elvidge, Scientific Adviser – Science Policy & Research Programme, NICE.

Course Summary:

The first part of the course gives a brief introduction to what HTA is, including some of the core principles applicable to HTA, and the differences between regulatory and HTA perspectives. Part 2 explains how HTA agencies evaluate the health benefits of a new technology. This includes how quality of life and length of life are measured jointly to compare the overall benefit of health care interventions.

In the 3rd section, we examine how HTA agencies quantify the financial impact associated with new technologies. We also explain how cost outcomes are combined with health outcomes to guide decision making based on value for money. Part 4 addresses how real world evidence (RWE) is used in HTA. This covers definitions of real world data (RWD) and RWE; how HTA agencies currently use RWE to make decisions; and considers what HTA agencies need to have confidence in RWE when making healthcare decisions.

Section 5 discusses some of the operational, technical, and methodological barriers to using real-world evidence for HTA. Some of the current, known strengths and limitations of using EHDEN for HTA are also presented. The final chapter presents a case study demonstrating how the EHDEN data network and analytic tools can be utilised to generate meaningful evidence for HTAs.

“We are delighted at the EHDEN Academy to be collaborating with our EHDEN Partner, NICE, and to have initiated this new learning pathway for those working in the Health Technology Assessment domain with real world data and evidence. As HTA agencies and colleagues utilise such evidence to make decisions impacting patients, providers, and society on using clinically and cost-effective technologies, it is imperative that they can understand the optimal uses of RWD and methods for generating evidence with confidence. We’re looking forward to expanding on this learning pathway with further modules, and to supporting the HTA community and others in addressing evidence-based decision-making together with NICE,” said Nigel Hughes, Scientific Director, Epidemiology, Global R&D, Janssen (Co-Lead EHDEN).

We hope many more of you will also find this course beneficial and will add this to your existing portfolio of EHDEN Academy courses, or if new, add more to this one. You can enrol on the Academy via this link.

Please keep an eye out for new courses we will be adding throughout this year: