To review the current academic evidence describing how data from health technology assessments (HTAs) informs procurement decisions for medical devices.
A systematic literature review was performed to identify relevant studies and criteria used in medical device purchasing or procurement decisions. Included articles were screened for relevancy and risk of bias. The included studies were summarized qualitatively.
A total of 292 studies were screened, of which 11 matched the inclusion criteria. Included studies’ geographies and HTA maturity varied. Some studies described hospital-level HTA processes, whereas others focused on national-level recommendations. Criteria for procurement decisions included standard HTA factors, such as efficacy, cost, cost-effectiveness, and budget impact; broader issues were also noted, including impact on the organization, ethical aspects, staff workload, and volume. There was little consideration of device-specific characteristics, such as life cycle, learning curve, or incremental technical innovation. Few decisions referred to HTA reports as part of the procurement decision; similarly, few HTA reports included a procurement perspective to help guide the procurement bodies.
There is minimal evidence that notes HTA influencing medical device procurement. Procurement bodies and hospitals may not be incentivized to publish their work and transparency could be improved; further research would better describe the link between HTA and procurement. Such research would enable the HTA agencies to meaningfully assess devices to target procurement bodies and allow device sponsors to prioritize evidence. This could limit redundancy, improve evidence, and ultimately promote savings to healthcare systems and expand access.
Michael Cangelosi Akriti Chahar Simon Eggington