Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions

Rod Taylor and Orania Ciani, left, collecting an Exeter Impact Award last year.

International award for excellence in health technology assessment research

Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School have won a prestigious international award for outstanding research in the area of health technology assessment.

Dr Oriana Ciani and Professor Rod Taylor, academics at the University of Exeter Medical School, were awarded the 2016 Egon Jonsson Award for their study published in 2015 in the International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care.

The study investigated structure, processes and methods currently adopted internationally for the evaluation of medical devices and provided useful recommendations for health technology assessment agencies handling this type of health technology in their daily practice.

The study, entitled Health Technology Assessment of Medical Devices: A Survey of Non-European Agencies, was undertaken in collaboration with colleagues at Hamburg Center for Health Economics, Germany, and the Institute for Economic Research in Slovenia.

The research was funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Program through the MedTecHTA project (“Methods for Health TA of medical devices”). Over a three-year period, the University of Exeter Medical School team, led by Professor Rod Taylor, was part of a consortium of academic European organisations whose focus was on improving the existing methodological framework for the assessment of medical devices and providing structured, evidence-based input into health policies.

The Egon Jonsson Award is given annually by Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) to the authors of an outstanding paper in the society's official journal published over the past year. Winners are selected by HTAi's Scientific and Professional Programs Committee, and are announced during the 2016 HTAi Annual Meeting in Tokyo. The Award includes a cash prize of $1,000.

Since 2001, the University’s multidisciplinary research group Evidence Synthesis & Modelling for Health Improvement (ESMI) has specialised in the synthesis of research evidence and model-based economic analyses of health technologies and complex health programmes for informing health policy and practice. The group’s director, Professor Rob Anderson, said of the award: “Oriana and Rod’s comprehensive international survey of HTA organisations, processes and methods that appraise medical devices spanned 36 agencies in 21 non-EU countries. This work forms an essential basis for improving the quality and consistency of these policy-making processes and evidence appraisal methods, which appear underdeveloped and under-resouced relative to the national appraisal of drugs and other technologies.”

Read the study online here.

Date: 5 July 2016

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