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HTAs: Innovations and Trends in Evidence Synthesis

HTAs: Innovations and Trends in Evidence Synthesis

May 24, 2024

The need for effective decision-making tools in healthcare is increasing by the day. The Healthcare industry and organisations worldwide strive to optimise patient outcomes while maintaining accurate but efficient evidence synthesis. Emerging trends in Health Technology Assessments (HTAs) are reshaping the way decision-makers approach healthcare interventions, from the integration of real-world evidence to the adoption of advanced modelling techniques. The convergence of innovation and collaboration holds the promise of driving meaningful change. By exploring some key trends and innovations shaping the future of healthcare decision-making, we can be better informed and contribute to better well-being worldwide.

Real World Evidence & Rapid Evidence Synthesis 

Real-world evidence (RWE) is gaining prominence alongside traditional clinical trial data in Health Technology Assessments. It currently stands as the number 1 HEOR trend for 2024-2025 as named by ISPOR. RWE encompasses insights derived from sources such as electronic health records and claims databases, offering a broader understanding of treatment outcomes and patient experiences beyond the controlled settings of clinical trials.

While traditional clinical trial data remains fundamental in HTAs, there's a growing acknowledgment of the value RWE adds. Integrating RWE into HTAs enriches the understanding of treatment effectiveness and safety profiles, enhancing the generalizability of findings. Healthcare decision-makers are increasingly recognizing the significance of RWE in complementing traditional evidence sources.

One notable trend is the emergence of rapid evidence synthesis methodologies to meet the demand for quicker insights. Unlike traditional methods that can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, rapid evidence synthesis offers agility and responsiveness. This is particularly crucial in navigating rapidly evolving healthcare challenges and tight timelines. However, it's essential to ensure that while being less time-consuming, rapid evidence synthesis maintains the standards of relevance, accuracy, and currency necessary for effective decision-making.

Healthcare systems are grappling with public health crises, emergent healthcare challenges, and swift policy shifts. In this context, the integration of RWE and the adoption of rapid evidence synthesis methodologies are becoming increasingly prevalent. These innovations aim to provide decision-makers with the most current and relevant evidence to effectively navigate complexities in healthcare decision-making.

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Advanced Modelling Techniques

HTAs increasingly adopt advanced modelling techniques to navigate intricate healthcare scenarios and make informed decisions amidst uncertainty. Decision-makers rely on simulation modelling, network meta-analysis, and machine learning to enhance their understanding of treatment effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, considering long-term implications.

Integration of AI tools into evidence synthesis and HTAs is gaining prominence due to their potential benefits. While current usage of automated technology for evidence synthesis is limited, there is recognition of its efficiency. AI tools significantly reduce screening efforts, enhance precision, minimise errors, and facilitate systematic data extraction and analysis. They enable living reviews to be updated efficiently with new evidence, and streamline collaboration among researchers. However, in certain instances, challenges such as bias, economic impact, and accountability persist.

Despite challenges, the integration of AI tools into evidence synthesis and HTAs is increasingly vital. These technologies have the potential to revolutionise evidence synthesis processes, empowering decision-makers to navigate the evolving healthcare landscape more effectively. Efforts to address challenges and support effective AI tool adoption, like comprehensive training, leadership support, resource allocation, collaboration initiatives, and standards establishment, are crucial for maximising their benefits in healthcare decision-making.

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Patient-Centred Approach

Patient-centred HTAs emphasise the incorporation of patient perspectives into healthcare decision-making processes. This approach involves integrating patient preferences, values, and experiences into the assessment process to ensure that recommendations align with the needs and priorities of individuals directly affected by healthcare interventions. Decision-makers are increasingly incorporating patient preferences and experiences into the assessment process to ensure that recommendations are relevant and acceptable to those they impact.

Patient-centred HTAs offer a more holistic approach to healthcare decision-making by not only considering clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness but also valuing patient preferences and experiences, placing the patient at the centre. Innovations in patient-centred HTAs include methodologies for eliciting patient preferences, such as discrete choice experiments and patient-reported outcome measures.

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Global Collaboration

There is a growing recognition of the importance of global collaboration and harmonisation in HTAs. Global collaboration and methodological harmonisation are essential for advancing the field of HTAs in an interconnected world. Global collaboration initiatives aim to facilitate the exchange of best practices and methodologies among HTA agencies worldwide. Methodological harmonisation ensures that HTAs reflect the diverse healthcare contexts and priorities across different regions, fostering a more inclusive and equitable approach to evidence synthesis and evaluation.

Decision-makers and stakeholders recognize the value of working together to address global health challenges and ensure that HTAs are relevant and applicable across diverse healthcare settings. Continued efforts in this direction are crucial for promoting transparency, consistency, and inclusivity in HTAs worldwide.

Image sourced from Canva

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, the demand for effective decision-making tools is ever growing. The integration of real-world evidence and the adoption of advanced modelling techniques within Health Technology Assessments represent significant strides towards enhancing the accuracy and efficiency of evidence synthesis. Moreover, the collaborative efforts driving innovation in this field hold immense potential for driving meaningful change and improving patient outcomes. By staying informed about the latest trends and innovations shaping healthcare decision-making, we can contribute to the advancement of the industry and ultimately, to the well-being of individuals worldwide. Together, we pave the way for a brighter future in healthcare.

Shelby Storme as a freelance digital marketing lead
Shelby Storme Kuhn
Digital Marketing Lead

As a passionate writer with a strong drive for strategic growth, Shelby leverages storytelling techniques to provide value for Evidence Prime's audience.

Laser AI's MSc Pharmacist, Ewelina Sadowska.
Ewelina Sadowska
MSc, Pharmacist

Evidence Synthesis Specialist at Evidence Prime. She is responsible for testing new solutions in Laser AI and conducting evidence synthesis research.

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