Assessing the Value of Diagnostic Innovation: A Growing Role for Health Technology Assessment?

Panellists: Dr. Fiona Miller, Associate Professor, Health Policy, Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, University of Toronto; Dr. Tammy Clifford, Chief Scientist and Vice President, Evidence Standards, CADTH; Dr. Irfan Dhalla, Vice-President, Evidence and Development Standards, Health Quality Ontario; and Dr. François Rousseau, Professor, Department of Medical Biology, Biochemistry, and Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval

Diagnostic tests have always been essential to the delivery of safe, high-quality, and affordable health care, but efforts to formally assess and appraise these technologies have traditionally been limited. With developments in diagnostic innovation, including the emergence of high-use and high-cost “blockbuster diagnostics,” alongside appropriate-use efforts such as Choosing Wisely, there has been a marked increase in efforts to better manage test adoption and utilization. Within Canada and internationally, a growing number of health technology assessment (HTA) bodies are investing capacity in the review of diagnostic tests. Yet, approaches differ and uncertainties remain. This panel discussion brings together researchers and HTA leaders to review recent efforts and consider what HTA can contribute to the wise implementation and use of diagnostics. Dr. Miller will introduce the panel and provide an overview of the growth of diagnostic innovation alongside the growth of parallel efforts to use evidence review in test adoption and management processes. Then, Dr. Dhalla and Dr. Clifford will discuss diagnostic review efforts within their agencies, including the development of a new genetic test review committee at Health Quality Ontario that builds on previous provincial efforts related to the adoption and utilization of genetic tests, as well as CADTH’s medical device review process and the place of diagnostics in these efforts. Finally, Dr. Rousseau will discuss his experiences as a clinician scientist who studies and develops diagnostics both as the chair of the diagnostic review committee run by the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en service sociaux (INESSS) in Quebec, and as a member of Ontario’s Genetic Testing Advisory Committee.

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