A new HTA organization promises to “cut the hype” in digital health

How a New HTA Organization Aims to Cut the Hype in Digital Health

The Peterson Centre on Healthcare, a US non-profit, has initiated the creation of the Peterson Health Technology Institute (PHTI) with a substantial funding of $50 million. This new institute aims to conduct comprehensive evaluations of digital health technologies, focusing on their clinical benefits and economic impact.

Working in close collaboration with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), an independent health technology assessment organization in the US, PHTI will assess the potential of digital health technologies to enhance the country’s healthcare systems. The goal is to improve service delivery, patient outcomes, equality, and cost reduction.

Despite the vast potential of digital health tools, there is currently limited information on their real-world performance. PHTI will fill this knowledge gap by providing independent health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) assessments. It will identify and promote the most promising digital health innovations while shedding light on products that fail to deliver their stated benefits.

In addition to the usual considerations of cost versus clinical benefit for conventional medicines, PHTI will also evaluate the impact of digital health interventions on issues like health equity, privacy, and security.

Digital health investments have surged in recent years, partly due to FDA’s enforcement discretion during the pandemic, allowing digital therapeutics to address patient access issues during lockdowns. The sector attracted $15.3 billion in investments last year, although it experienced a decline from the peak in 2021. Nonetheless, the global market is expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2023, driven by overwhelmed healthcare systems and staff shortages.

Given this rapid growth, it becomes crucial to ensure that digital health tools are backed by sufficient evidence to support their claims regarding clinical benefits. The establishment of PHTI will play a crucial role in providing independent assessments and promoting the advancement of effective digital health technologies.

β€œAs digital health tools replace and augment traditional healthcare, they should both deliver better health outcomes and improve affordability. β€œIn order for technology to successfully contribute to the goal of a more effective and efficient healthcare system, patients, providers, and payers need better information about what works.” 

– Caroline Pearson, executive director of the Peterson Centre.

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