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Economic evaluation of healthcare technologies

Health Economics Theme (HERG) is well known for its applied economic evaluations of healthcare interventions. We specialise in the evaluation of non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as medical devices, interventional procedures, screening and diagnostic tests. The methods that we employ include cost-effectiveness analysis based on clinical trial data and decision analytic modelling. Our research often involves the development and testing of new methods of analysis and consideration of the links to decision-making. Researchers at Health Economics Theme (HERG) also conduct systematic reviews in a wide variety of health topics. This research has a focus on combining systematic reviews with economic evaluations to assist policy-makers whilst improving methods for systematic reviewing and health technology assessments. 

Current projects include evaluations of physical therapies for back pain and rheumatoid arthritis, tests for tuberculosis and liver disease, imaging to detect recurrent cervical cancer and treatment pathways for atrial fibrillation. Health Economics Theme (HERG) collaborates with excellent clinical researchers from various NHS and academic organisations, and has a long-standing relationship with Papworth hospital, providing economic expertise to support their clinical research.

Researchers at Health Economics Theme (HERG) have particular expertise in the evaluation of medical devices. We are a collaborator on the multidisciplinary MATCH programme on the evaluation of medical devices funded by EPSRC, DH, industry and the National Patient Safety Agency. Health Economics Theme (HERG), in partnership with colleagues at the University of Birmingham, is also home to one of the External Assessment Centres (EAC) for the NICE Medical Technology Evaluation Pathway Programme. This programme provides guidance to the NHS on the appropriate use of medical devices. The EAC supplies an independent assessment of the evidence for medical technologies and related economic analyses to inform NICE decision-making.  

Health Economics Theme (HERG) also conducts research to inform the interface between health technology assessment and healthcare decision making. These projects have included research into the use of recommendations conditional on further research by NICE and development of a conceptual framework for use in decision-making.

The stability of Health Economics Theme (HERG) has enabled us to invest in projects with a long term pay-off; for example, an evaluation of the picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) project at Hammersmith Hospital, a study of the cost-effectiveness of the liver-transplant programme including all six English transplant centres, and an ongoing evaluation of screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms with over ten years of follow-up.