Hospital Based Health Technology Assessments (HB-HTA):

As part of the World Pharmacists Day celebrations on 25th September 2023, and in consideration of this year’s theme: “Pharmacists strengthening Health Systems”, it is imperative to look at the role Pharmacists, as part of the HB-HTA multi-disciplinary team can support decisions about health technologies, especially medicines, in KUTRRH and the wider Kenyan and African Healthcare system.

Hospital-based Health Technology Assessment (HB-HTA) in Kenya and Africa, is a relatively new area of practice. But it holds great potential for improving healthcare decision-making  and resource allocation, especially in Kenya, as the country moves to provide Universal Health coverage for its population. Hospital-based Health Technology Assessment (HB-HTA) is a systematic and multidisciplinary process used to evaluate the clinical and economic impact of healthcare technologies, interventions or innovations within the context of a hospital setting. These health technologies include but are not limited to:-

1. Pharmaceuticals

Assessment of drugs, including new medications and existing ones, to evaluate their efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness.

2. Medical Devices

Evaluation of various medical devices, such as diagnostic equipment, implantable devices, prosthetics, and assistive technologies.

3. Surgical Procedures

Assessment of surgical techniques, approaches, and interventions, including minimally invasive procedures

4. Diagnostic Tests

Examination of diagnostic tools and tests, such as imaging technologies, blood tests, genetic testing, and point-of-care diagnostics.

5. Health Information Technology

Analysis of health information systems, electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine platforms and health apps.

6. Screening Programs

Evaluation of population-wide or targeted screening programs for diseases like cancer, diabetes or infectious diseases.

7. Vaccines

Assessment of the safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of vaccines and immunization programs.

8. Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy

Analysis of rehabilitation methods, physical therapy techniques and assistive devices for people with disabilities or injuries.

9. Public Health Interventions

Examination of public health measures such as smoking cessation programs, obesity prevention initiatives and vaccination campaigns.

10. Health Promotion and Education

Evaluation of health education campaigns, wellness programs and lifestyle interventions aimed at promoting better health.

11. Health Services and Delivery Models

Assessment of different healthcare delivery models, including primary care, specialist care, and alternative care pathways.

12. Health Policy and Organizational Interventions

Analysis of policies, guidelines and organizational strategies aimed at improving healthcare outcomes and efficiency.

13. Behavioral Interventions

Examination of interventions targeting behavior change, such as smoking cessation, weight management, and substance abuse treatment.

14. Gene Therapies and Personalized Medicine

Assessment of cutting-edge treatments, including gene therapies and personalized medicine approaches.

15. Complementary and Medicine Alternative

Evaluation of alternative and complementary therapies like acupuncture, herbal medicine and chiropractic care.

16. Mental Health Interventions

Analysis of treatments and interventions for mental health disorders, including psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and innovative therapies.

17. Environmental Health Technologies

Assessment of technologies and interventions related to environmental health, such as air and water purification systems.

18. Assistive Technologies

Evaluation of devices and technologies that assist individuals with disabilities in daily life.

19. Health Economic Analysis

Incorporation of economic evaluations, cost-effectiveness studies, and budget impact assessments into HTA to assess the financial aspects of health technologies.

Other considerations that are also worth considering are the Ethical and Societal considerations, that is, deliberation of ethical, cultural, and societal issues associated with the introduction  and use of health technologies. The HB-HTA process will therefore involve assessing the safety, efficacy, cost-effectiveness and broader implications of adopting new medical technologies or healthcare practices within the KUTRRH environment. Hospital-based HTA will therefore provide evidence-based recommendations to support decision-making by KUTRRH policy makers, management and clinicians. In proposing to set up the KUTRRH Hospital-based HTA, the following are the proposed universally accepted best practices in conduct of HB-HTA:-