The role of Health Technology Assessment in Shaping a Sustainable Future for the Healthcare Industry


As technology continues to advance at an increasing pace globally, opportunities have arisen within the healthcare industry to maximise resources for efficient utilisation of health technologies using Health Technology Assessment (HTA).

Our health economics courses incorporate the latest technological research and developments in the industry, with modules on both Health Technology Assessment for decision making, and use of data in HTA, to ensure that our students and graduates stay at the forefront of this groundbreaking field.

In this blog Dr Rui Dang, our Applied Health Economics Programme Leader, explores how HTA helps us to evaluate medical innovations, make evidence-based decisions and ensure efficient resource allocation for a sustainable future.

What is Health Technology Assessment?

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is a multidisciplinary process that uses explicit methods to determine the value of health technologies at various stages of their lifecycle. HTA aims to inform decision-making to promote an equitable, efficient, high-quality, and sustainable healthcare system. HTA is crucial to the sustainability of the United Kingdom's healthcare systems.

As an intervention, the use of HTA is designed to:

  • prevent, diagnose, or treat medical conditions,
  • promote health, provide rehabilitation,
  • or organise the delivery of healthcare.

The intervention could be a test, device, medication, vaccine, procedure, programme, or a system, such as the introduction of a new vaccine to prevent infectious diseases, or a diagnostic device.

The value and efficacy of health technologies can be evaluated using HTA in relation to various value dimensions and the effect of the technology on clinical outcomes, quality of life, cost-effectiveness, resource utilisation, patient safety, environmental sustainability and ethical considerations. It also includes evaluating the acceptability of introducing a technology into clinical practice based on its economic and social implications.

The importance of sustainability in HTA

Sustainability in health technology assessment (HTA) refers to the consideration of the environmental impact of health technologies, including the production, distribution, application, and disposal of technology.

Given that healthcare systems are responsible for a substantial proportion of carbon emissions, sustainability is a crucial aspect of HTA. In recent years, there has been a rise in interest in the incorporation of sustainability into HTA due to factors including a growing awareness of the environmental impact of healthcare systems, an increasing demand for sustainable healthcare, and the availability of new methods for assessing environmental impact.

Life cycle assessment

There are a variety of ways to incorporate sustainability into HTA. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is an approach for evaluating technology. An LCA is a thorough analysis of the environmental impacts of a product or service over its entire life cycle. This includes the extraction of raw materials, production, transportation, use, and disposal.

Cost-effective analysis

Performing a cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) is a second method for incorporating sustainability into HTA. When conducting a CEA, it is necessary to consider the environmental impact of various health technologies.

Health technology assessments (HTA) are indispensable tools for evaluating healthcare interventions, and they play a crucial role in the sustainable development of the health sector and medical device manufacturing industry.

About our Applied Health Economics courses

Ready to further your knowledge of HTA and Health Economics?
At Learna | Diploma MSc, we are committed to providing a comprehensive learning experience with an up to date curriculum, offering students the opportunity to stay ahead of the curve. Not only do we offer cutting-edge insights into HTA in our curriculum, our online health economics course is the only course of its kind that examines key disease areas pertinent to applied health economics for decision making in healthcare.

We are proud to offer some of the most affordable medical postgraduate courses on the market, with interest-free payment plan options and no surcharges for international students. Our mission is to improve healthcare provision globally, which is why accessibility and affordability are of paramount importance to us. What’s more, you can complete a masters in health economics in just two years, or a diploma in health economics in just one calendar year with Learna.

Studying our health economics courses online means that you can continue to work full-time as you study part-time, and join our renowned academic platform of multidisciplinary healthcare professionals and expert tutors from anywhere in the world. Learn from experts like Dr Rui Dang, who are passionate about health economics and will offer support and guidance throughout the programme.

Spaces are limited on this popular course! If you are ready to take the next step towards a fulfilling career in health economics, visit our course pages to apply for our September 2023 intake today.

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