COCIR makes recommendations for health tech assessment

The European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electromedical, and Healthcare IT Industry (COCIR) is issuing new recommendations for health technology assessment (HTA) agencies during the HTA 2.0 Europe meeting.

As innovations continue to emerge along with more integrated healthcare solutions, there is a need for appropriate HTA methodology, COCIR said. The current recommendations build on the version released in October 2010, which raised the importance of assessing HTA methodology rather than the technology itself.

Health technology assessment is increasingly being used as an additional requirement beyond safety and efficacy for regulatory approval. The HTA methodology for devices and pharmaceuticals are well-established; however, there are important differences between medical technologies that must be considered for appropriate assessment, COCIR said.

A collaborative effort across technologies, including medical devices, medical imaging, health technology, and diagnostics is required to develop and propose appropriate methods for each technology category, the committee said.

COCIR recommends that health technology assessment agencies adopt certain elements to assess medical technologies, including:

  • Flexibility and pragmatism in accepting different kinds of evidence
  • Adoption of different methodologies to assess whole healthcare system benefits appropriate to the technology and the need it addresses
  • Recognition of different levels of benefit and risk for different technologies, and pragmatism in incorporating different types of effectiveness evidence
  • Streamlining of processes to enable more timely technology assessment and encourage early (and controlled/monitored) dissemination of promising solutions to benefit patients
  • Consideration of the broad scope of benefits
  • Recognition of healthcare system as well as patient benefits
  • Development of mechanisms for facilitating recommendations for further research through early dialog to develop appropriate evidence, and after assessment to build study protocols to fill evidence gaps
  • Support for implementation
  • Establish processes and mechanisms that support healthcare providers as they implement recommendations, offering tools and practical guides to facilitate implementation

COCIR is a member of the EUnetHTA JA Stakeholder Forum and became this year an active member of the AdHopHTA Advisory Committee.

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