The IFMBE’s Healthcare Technology Assessment Division (HTAD) aims at promoting Healthcare Technology Assessment (HTA) within the biomedical and clinical engineering community and at supporting biomedical engineering activities in this field.
According to WHO, health technology refers to the application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives. Healthcare technology is defined as prevention, care and rehabilitation, vaccines, pharmaceuticals and devices, medical and surgical procedures, and the systems within which health is protected and maintained. Health Technology Assessment is a multidisciplinary field of policy analysis. It is clear from this definition that the scope of HTA is very broad. The HTAD focuses mainly on the medical devices, the procedures, and the systems used in healthcare delivery.
The purpose of HTA is to support the process of decision-making in health care at policy, clinician and management levels by providing reliable and timely information on some or all of the evaluative dimensions mentioned earlier. In this respect, HTA has been compared to a bridge between the world of research and the world of decision-making since assessment of currently adopted technologies can inform both research and adoption strategies. HTA provides a unique input into the decision-making processes of the healthcare system.