On the integration of early health technology assessment in the innovation process: Reflections from five stakeholders
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionInternational Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care. 2020, 36 (5), 481-485. 10.1017/S0266462320000756
Early health technology assessment (HTA), which includes all methods used to inform industry and other stakeholders about the potential value of new medical products in development, including methods to quantify and manage uncertainty, has seen many applications in recent years. However, it is still unclear how such early value assessments can be integrated into the technology innovation process. This commentary contributes to the discussion on the purposes early HTA can serve. Similarities and differences in the perspectives of five stakeholders (i.e., the hospital, the patient, the assessor, the medical device industry, and the policy maker) on the purpose, value, and potential challenges of early HTA are described. All five stakeholders agreed that integrating early HTA in the innovation process has the possibility to shape and refine an innovation, and inform research and development decisions. The early assessment, using a variety of methodologies, can provide insights that are relevant for all stakeholders but several challenges, for example, feasibility and responsibility, need to be addressed before early HTA can become standard practice. For early evaluations to be successful, all relevant stakeholders including patients need to be involved. Also, nimble, flexible assessment methods are needed that fit the dynamics of medical technology. Best practices should be shared to optimize both the innovation process and the methods to perform an early value assessment.