Internationally, Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is considered the leading approach to govern health systems, manage innovation and inform disinvestment decisions in public and private settings. An effective system requires an integrated environment where interactions can occur at all levels—international, national, regional and local. Each level holds different responsibilities and is characterized by a variety of stakeholders involved both in the provision and use of HTAs for decision-making. International collaborations, national and regional HTA bodies and hospital-based HTA units or functions all contribute to a sustainable healthcare network that requires coordination to improve clinical and organisational processes and patient outcomes.
HTA, however, is now evolving towards an integrated network or “ecosystem” where local needs can be addressed, thanks to both local and global evidence used to support effective and sustainable decisions. This new scenario implies adaptation and changes in methodologies and tools, professional competencies and technical solutions with computational capability for big data analysis.
Our new ecosystem is shaped by new and old forms of cooperation with examples of integration now emerging or evolving in different areas of the world, moving beyond the historic global collaboration proposed by the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) in 1993. For example, the European Network of Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) currently leads HTA collaboration among member states by creating a structured environment in which cooperation in HTA is flourishing. By the end of Joint Action 3 in 2019, it is expected to sustain its own HTA system that is fully integrated within the European regulatory framework for both drugs and medical devices. In the Americas, Health Technology Assessment Network of the Americas (RedETSA) is proposing a new model for collaboration and, similarly, Asian countries have started a new experience through HTAsiaLink. Many other examples are reported worldwide
The 2017 HTAi Annual Meeting in Rome, Italy is aimed at collecting experiences to promote a deeper understanding of the potentials and challenges of different approaches and foster collaboration in HTA and integration between HTA and regulatory systems. We will host enriching discussions around what we can achieve beyond borders and how we may impact healthcare decision-making through HTA at the global level.