Objectives: The aim of this study was to develop and test a generic framework to enable international collaboration for producing and sharing results of health technology assessments (HTAs).
Methods: Ten international teams constructed the HTA Core Model, dividing information contained in a comprehensive HTA into standardized pieces, the assessment elements. Each element contains a generic issue that is translated into practical research questions while performing an assessment. Elements were described in detail in element cards. Two pilot assessments, designated as Core HTAs were also produced. The Model and Core HTAs were both validated. Guidance on the use of the HTA Core Model was compiled into a Handbook.
Results: The HTA Core Model considers health technologies through nine domains. Two applications of the Model were developed, one for medical and surgical interventions and another for diagnostic technologies. Two Core HTAs were produced in parallel with developing the model, providing the first real-life testing of the Model and input for further development. The results of formal validation and public feedback were primarily positive. Development needs were also identified and considered. An online Handbook is available.
Conclusions: The HTA Core Model is a novel approach to HTA. It enables effective international production and sharing of HTA results in a structured format. The face validity of the Model was confirmed during the project, but further testing and refining are needed to ensure optimal usefulness and user-friendliness. Core HTAs are intended to serve as a basis for local HTA reports. Core HTAs do not contain recommendations on technology use.