Why, What, and How Should Digital Health Be Assessed?
Copenhagen, Denmark—4 November 2019—ISPOR, the professional society for health economics and outcomes research—explored the potential of digital health technologies to address key health-related challenges and how to best evaluate these technologies as the field evolves. The session, Evaluating Digital Health Technologies: Why, What, and How” [IP1], was held this morning at ISPOR Europe 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Digital technologies have the potential to help tackle some of the key health-related challenges faced across Europe. As the number of digital health apps outpaces demand, healthcare professionals are not ready to make recommendations and commissioners are rarely confident to invest. All of this results in an increasing need for standardized, evidence-based approaches to encourage implementation of effective digital technologies.
Panelists for this session included:
- Chris Chesters, PhD, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Manchester, England, UK
- Megan Coder, PharmD, MBA, Digital Therapeutics Alliance, Arlington, VA, USA
- Bettina Ryll, MD, PhD, Melanoma Patient Network Europe and Past Chair of the Patient Advocates Working Group, European Society for Medical Oncology, Uppsala, Sweden
- Panagiotis Stafylas, MD, MSc, PhD, HealThink, Thessaloniki, Greece
Dr Chesters moderated the session and provided an overview of the issue, including NICE’s efforts to define what “good evidence” looks like for digital technologies. Dr Coder shared her industry perspective and experience of working in an international organization for developers of complex digital health technologies. She outlined how digital products are being reviewed and outline the key challenges and opportunities for the industry. Dr Stafylas discussed his involvement in establishing an eHealth HTA framework as part of the Joint Action to support the eHealth Network. He reviewed the current situation and challenges ahead for the use of eHealth in Europe. Dr Ryll highlighted the importance of collaboration when developing digital health tools, particularly the engagement of patients and the public in this process.
Traditional methods for evaluating health technologies may be ill-equipped to assess digital health technologies. Challenges include difficulties in performing randomized controlled trials, issues of interoperability and user-friendliness, variability between settings, the iterative development of innovations, and sufficient time in the development process for evaluations. Other aspects important to digital technologies not well addressed by traditional HTA methods include access, equity, patient empowerment or goal-orientation.
ISPOR is recognized globally as the leading professional society for health economics and outcomes research and its role in improving healthcare decisions. ISPOR Europe 2019 expects to draw more than 5000 healthcare stakeholders with an interest in HEOR, including researchers and academicians, assessors and regulators, payers and policymakers, the life sciences industry, healthcare providers, and patient engagement organizations.
Additional information on the conference can be found at:
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ISPOR, the professional society for health economics and outcomes research (HEOR), is an international, multistakeholder, nonprofit dedicated to advancing HEOR excellence to improve decision making for health globally. The Society is the leading source for scientific conferences, peer-reviewed and MEDLINE®-indexed publications, good practices guidance, education, collaboration, and tools/resources in the field.
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