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Based on a real-world collaboration with innovators in applying early health economic modeling, we aimed to offer practical steps that health technology assessment (HTA) researchers and innovators can follow and promote the usage of early HTA among research and development (R&D) communities.
The HTA researcher was approached by the innovator to carry out an early HTA ahead of the first clinical trial of the technology, a soft robotic sock for poststroke patients. Early health economic modeling was selected to understand the potential value of the technology and to help uncover the information gap. Threshold analysis was used to identify the target product profiles. Value-of-information analysis was conducted to understand the uncertainties and the need for further research.
Based on the expected price and clinical effectiveness by the innovator, the new technology was found to be cost-saving compared to the current practice. Risk reduction in deep vein thrombosis and ankle contracture, the incidence rate of ankle contracture, the compliance rate of the new technology, and utility scores were found to have high impacts on the value-for-money of the new technology. The value of information was low if the new technology can achieve the expected clinical effectiveness. A list of parameters was recommended for data collection in the impending clinical trial.
This work, based on a real-world collaboration, has illustrated that early health economic modeling can inform medical innovation development. We provided practical steps in order to achieve more efficient R&D investment in medical innovation moving forward.
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