Online ExpertTrack in Healthcare & Medicine

Using Health Technology Assessment in support of Universal Health Coverage

Explore the key concepts of health economics and how health technology assessment aids decision-making in healthcare.

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The University of GlasgowThe University of Glasgow

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Gain a solid foundation in health economics

On this ExpertTrack, you’ll explore the theory of health economics to understand how scarcity and resources affect decision-making.

Healthcare resources are finite in every setting and, irrespective of the financing and organisation of a country’s healthcare system, decisions have to be made fairly.

You’ll also discover the use of health technology assessment (HTA) as one of the tools for priority setting. This knowledge will help you start thinking like a health economist and how we can ensure decisions are based on evidence and the best outcomes.

Explore healthcare systems and the healthcare market

You’ll unpack the healthcare market to understand how it operates differently from other markets.

This understanding will help you delve into healthcare systems around the world to compare and contrast how, for example, their financing differs.

Develop technical skills in using health technology assessment

HTA helps decision-makers understand the consequences of one (or several) alternative courses of action, and to select the options that produce the best outcomes at the lowest cost.

The institutionalisation of HTA is also seen as pivotal in supporting universal health coverage (UHC) – this includes in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).

You’ll delve into key concepts of HTA methodology to understand how this can be used in decision-making and how it is already positively impacting access to healthcare globally.

Understand the use of health technology assessment in practice

With the theoretical knowledge of HTA, you’ll build on your practical skills to discover how HTA can be used in different contexts.

You’ll explore case studies from around the world to understand applications of HTA before exploring how countries and HTA bodies make trade-offs between costs and benefits in their decision-making.

Learn from the experts at The University of Glasgow

Throughout the ExpertTrack, you’ll be guided by the specialist at the Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment (HEHTA) Research Group at the University of Glasgow.

Learning from their expertise, and with the opportunity to interact with fellow learners, you’ll finish with the knowledge of how decisions in healthcare are made.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds Today, decision makers have faced many challenges in how best to allocate health care resources. These challenges present themselves across the globe in low, middle and high income countries. They also present at different levels of decision making at the national level by government health ministers and at local levels, for example by hospital management teams. What is the cause of these challenges? Well, one important reason is that in recent times we’ve seen levels of technological innovation increase to unprecedented levels. Such innovation aims to improve health and health care for many disease areas and conditions. It is worth pointing out from the outset that technologies are not just drugs and medical devices.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds It also refers to new health policies such as smoking bans or a change in how healthcare service is organized or delivered, such as telemedicine. The demand for new technologies is high, especially if they are backed up by good evidence, and unfortunately health services cannot sustain all new developments when working within the fixed budget. Therefore, decision makers face difficult choices. This is where health technology assessment comes in. HTA helps decision makers make informed choices by interrogating the relevant information about new technologies. Key questions that HG addresses are does the technology work? Does it work for all? Is it safe?

Skip to 1 minute and 24 seconds Does it provide value for money or should we compare the technology to and who are all the stakeholders that need to be involved? In this course you will learn about the fundamental concepts of JDA and we will provide an overview of the different stages of the entire process. If you are taking this course because you are considering a career in, we hope that this is a useful first step view. Career prospects in are good and set to increase as more and more governments across the world set up agencies to formally evaluate health technologies.

Key skills you will learn

  • Health economics
  • Health technology assessment
  • Decision-making

Learning outcomes

By the end of the ExpertTrack, you’ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of scarcity and resources in decision-making
  • Identify characteristics that make the healthcare market different from markets for general goods
  • Explain key health economic concepts
  • Discuss the main pillars of Universal Health Coverage
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the core principles and processes of HTA
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the tools of assessment commonly used in HTA
  • Describe the process and structure of economic evaluation
  • Debate how different HTA bodies make trade-offs between costs and benefits to make appropriate judgements/decision-making
  • Explore the wider context in which HTA exists – health systems, guidance, evidence
  • Investigate different roles and structures of HTA bodies

Experience required

This ExpertTrack is designed for those working in healthcare who want to learn more about health technology assessment.

It will be most useful for healthcare professionals, researchers, and decision-makers who want to gain technical skills in HTA.

Getting started

You’ll gain an understanding of the methods and processes of analyses, and be able to critique its use.

If you work in a research institution, the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare and policy bodies, including HTA agencies, you’ll find this ExpertTrack particularly beneficial.

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World-class learning with The University of Glasgow

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities.

  • Established

  • Location

    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 70Source: QS World University Rankings 2020

Meet your instructors

Eleanor's research interests include economic evaluation of public health and complex interventions, both trial-based and using decision analytic modelling. She leads HEHTA’s Global HTA research theme

Shelagh is an epidemiologist with 15 years of experience in health economics and outcomes research. She is currently working on her PhD, with a focus on qualitative research methods in HTA.

A current PhD student in HEHTA.
Interested in Early-HTA in the innovation process and Medical Device Assessment Methodology.

I am a health economist with interests in evaluating health interventions to reduce the burden of infectious diseases in low- & middle-income countries.

I'm a Health Economist at HEHTA, UoGlasgow. My work involves undertaking economic evaluations alongside clinical trials, decision-analytic modelling, analysing linked health data & evidence synthesis.

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