Case study: HTW’s COVID-19 reports
What did we do?
Since cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) started to be confirmed in the United Kingdom, Health Technology Wales (HTW) has been producing rapid reports on the emerging evidence for diagnostics and therapeutics.
Our researchers have put their health technology assessment (HTA) skills to use and produced several COVID-19 related Topic Exploration Reports, what we call TERs. These reports are designed to provide a high-level briefing on new topics submitted for consideration.
We’ve identified COVID-19 related technology topics by using HealthTech Connect, a secure online resource provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Companies register their health technology and we use this information to identify if it’s suitable for evaluation. The information is included in our TERs and used to help decision makers in care systems to consider if further evidence synthesis work would be helpful to inform technology adoption decisions.
By using HealthTech Connect, we’ve identified COVID-19 related technologies from two companies; LINC Medical and ResAppDX-EU.
What difference did this make?
LINC Medical’s Jafron cytokine adsorber is used for the treatment of cytokine storm in people with severe coronavirus infection.
ResAppDx-EU’s point-of-care smartphone applications is used for the diagnosis of acute respiratory disease.
The TERs we produced searched for evidence on the technologies’ clinical and cost effectiveness. The main objectives were to:
- Determine the quantity and quality of evidence available for the technology of interest.
- Identify any gaps in the evidence/ongoing evidence collection.
- Inform decisions on topics that warrant fuller assessment.
The information about these technologies has been shared with key stakeholders in Welsh Government and NHS Wales to inform their decision making during the COVID-19 pandemic. These outputs are also being regularly shared with other stakeholders in the UK via HealthTech Connect, and with HTA bodies nationally and internationally via the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA). Sharing information and expertise in this way helps to avoid duplication and maximise the global research response to COVID-19.
We’ve also been liaising closely with Welsh Government, who requested a rapid summary for Hospify. Rapid summaries are similar to TERS but not the same; the main difference is that they aren’t underpinned by exhaustive systematic literature searches due to the short turnaround time they require.
Hospify is a GDPR-compliant clinical messaging app designed to be used for staff-to-staff and staff-to-patient communication. The rapid summary we provided gave a balanced overview of the evidence base, answering a question about the use of Hospify in clinical scenarios related to COVID-19.
Visit our dedicated COVID-19 web page. This is regularly updated with new information about the ways we’re working and services we offer.