Health technology assessment (HTA) is defined as the systematic evaluation of properties, effects, and/or impacts of health technology. Its main purpose is to inform decision making in health policy and practice. Currently, HTAs are not adequately equipped for a comprehensive, patient-centred, and integrated assessment. For instance, they do not cater for diverse patient characteristics, ethical, legal or socio-cultural aspects are rarely addressed and an integrative perspective on all assessment aspects is missing. The EU-funded project INTEGRATE-HTA (Integrated health technology assessment for evaluating complex health technologies) aimed to develop methods that enable a comprehensive and integrated approach. The outcomes of the project are guidances, which offer concepts and methods for the assessment of complex health technologies. They take into account effectiveness, as well as economic, social, ethical, and cultural issues, patient preferences and patient-specific moderators of treatment, as well as context and implementation. The guidances are also applicable to less complex health technologies. Researchers applied the guidances by conducting a case study focused on home-based palliative care in selected European countries. Experts from around the world provided feedback that was inserted into the guidances.
Health technology assessment, evaluation, complex health technologies, patient-centredness, INTEGRATE-HTA