The Center for Health Technology Assessment at Semmelweis University was established in 2019. Its main goal is to conduct analyses and methodology research in the fields of health technology assessment, health economics, epidemiology, and health policy. Moreover, one of the main objectives of the Center is to provide professional support and consultation for all departments and researchers at Semmelweis University regarding the aforementioned research areas. The research activities of the Center aim to facilitate the transformation of exploratory research conducted by the experts of Semmelweis University into innovative solutions widely available in hands-on patient care, both in Hungary and beyond.
Our Center is also taking part in the educational program of the Semmelweis University, especially by lecturing academic and applied knowledge in health technology assessment both at graduate and postgraduate level. Our training program at the graduate level aims to transfer the fundamental knowledge in a comprehensible way and to introduce students to the aims and methodology of such research. At postgraduate level courses, we cover conceptual and methodological expertise that supports the in-depth research activity of PhD students.
What do we mean by health technologies?
According to the WHO, health technologies are the application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures, and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve the quality of life. In short, health technologies are all procedures, materials, or devices that the health care provider applies in the course of prevention, diagnostics, treatment, and rehabilitation.
Especially the following:
- medicines used in health care,
- diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitation procedures,
- preventive and health promotion activities,
- medical devices.
What is health technology assessment?
Health technology assessment (HTA) refers to the systematic evaluation of health technologies. It is a multidisciplinary process to evaluate the social, economic, organizational, and ethical issues of a health technology. The main purpose of conducting a health technology assessment is to support decision-making at the level of public reimbursement or hospital investments.
Technology assessment is about analyzing the anticipated health gain of the technology at a certain cost level (e.g., prolonging life expectancy, improving survival rate, quality of life improvement, etc.) and comparing the results to the current standard of care technology.
By another definition, health technology assessment aims to inform health policymakers about a procedure’s clinical (efficacy, effectiveness, safety), economic, social, legal, and ethical considerations to promote optimal resource allocation in a health system.