HTx Project kick-off in January 2019

The HTx Project Consortium, led by Utrecht University is delighted to announce the launch of a new HTA project under the European call BETTER HEALTH AND CARE, ECONOMIC GROWTH AND SUSTAINABLE HEALTH SYSTEMS, which will operate in Europe for the coming five years, 2019 – 2023

Over the past few decades, the role and importance of health technology assessment (HTA) has developed gradually in response to greater emphasis on evidence-based decision-making in healthcare, alongside increasing pressures on financing and delivery of healthcare. Much of the function of HTA and the use of its outputs in healthcare systems has advanced organically to some extent. Developments on both fronts have been reactive to political, societal and financial needs rather than being proactively ‘designed’ to address the needs of diverse and changing healthcare systems. In response to these developments, European collaboration on HTA has increased in recent years with greater emphasis on developing joint methods and producing joint clinical assessments, also defined as relative effectiveness assessments, through the European network for HTA (EUnetHTA).

However, the need has arisen for more ‘personalised’ HTA that is capable of identifying for whom health technologies work and for whom they are not essential, hereby guaranteeing that the right treatment is provided, to the right patient, at the right time and leading to an increase in societal healthcare benefits. Moreover, the data to inform these types of decisions is still rare. Therefore, if HTA organisations are expected to make more tailored decisions on complex health technologies using more complicated data, new HTA methods need to be developed for this next generation of healthcare. Subsequently, it should be realised that the outcomes of these assessments can be linked to reimbursement and pricing models that support innovation but also ensure sustainability of health care.

To achieve these objectives, HTx aims to create a framework for next generation HTA that supports patient-centred, societally oriented, real-time decision-making for integrated healthcare throughout Europe; developing methodologies to deliver more customized information on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of complex and personalised combinations of health technologies; providing methods to support personalised treatment advice that will be shared with patients and their physicians; and collaborating with the European Network for HTA (EUnetHTA) and its stakeholders pilot the implementation of these methods in Europe.

Dr Wim Goettsch, associate professor at Utrecht University, Coordinator of HTx and also Advisor HTA for the National Health Care Institute stated:

“…our project addresses a reality that at one hand we still do HTAs on single health technologies in one or maybe two different settings while these health technologies are subsequently used in reality in many different settings. I am quite aware that addressing this reality is challenging and complex but we need to strive for methods that are capable to address the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of combinations of technologies, different sequences of treatments and treatments that are based on diagnostic and genetic testing. My hope is that in five years these methods will be part from our work in HTA organisations such the National Health Care Institute but also facilitate tools that support patients and their healthcare providers in making personal decisions on the best treatment”.