Digi-HTA: Health technology assessment framework for digital healthcare services
Keywords:health technology assessment, artificial intelligence, robotics, mHealth
Health technology assessment (HTA) refers to the systematic evaluation of the properties, effects, and/or impacts of health technology. The main purpose of the assessment is to inform decisionmakers in order to better support the introduction of new health technologies. New digital healthcare solutions like mHealth, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics have brought with them a great potential to further develop healthcare services, but their introduction should follow the same criteria as that of other healthcare methods. They must provide evidence-based benefits and be safe to use, and their impacts on patients and organizations need to be clarified.
The first objective of this study was to describe the state-of-the-art HTA methods for mHealth, AI, and robotics. The second objective of this study was to evaluate the domains needed in the assessment. The final aim was to develop an HTA framework for digital healthcare services to support the introduction of novel technologies into Finnish healthcare.
In this study, the state-of-the-art HTA methods were evaluated using a literature review and interviews. It was noted that some good practices already existed, but the overall picture showed that further development is still needed, especially in the AI and robotics fields. With the cooperation of professionals, key aspects and domains that should be taken into account to make fast but comprehensive assessments were identified. Based on this information, we created a new framework which supports the HTA process for digital healthcare services. The framework was named Digi-HTA.
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