Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Training Session

Led by Dr Leandro Pecchia, Chairman, IFMBE Health Technology Assessment Division

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is a multi-discipline and multi-sectorial structured process aiming to inform decisions regarding healthcare technologies at different levels: from hospital level (i.e. inform the acquisition of costly medical devices), to Regional/ National level (i.e. recommend the adoption of a new healthcare technology to the NHS), or international levels (i.e. inform large-scale prevention/intervention campaigns).

The definition of health technology is very broad and refers to any application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of medicines, medical devices, vaccines, procedures and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of life. Nevertheless, to date the majority of HTA training activities and materials are more focused on drugs (i.e. less on medical devices or ICT applications for healthcare) and oriented to medical doctors, health economists and pharmacologists.

However, although several training activities have been developed for medical doctors, health economists and pharmacologists, there is a lack of training opportunities specifically oriented to researchers and professionals with other technical backgrounds, who are daily involved in the design, validation, selection, maintenance and use of healthcare technologies, and particularly medical devices and eHealth.

This is the case of biomedical engineers (BME), working in research, manufacturing and/or National Health Systems/Services, interacting continuously with clinicians, health economists, hospital managers and patients.

This training session speaks directly to PhD students, early career researchers and academics, who are working on healthcare technologies, and aims to provide them with an introduction to theoretical and practical HTA methods and tools.

Moreover, the eLearning platform and contents developed by the IFMBE HTA Division will be presented. This platform, which will be open to all the IFMBE federated societies members in November 2016 ( contains more than 40 hours of practical and theoretical lectures on HTA methods, tools and case studies.

Programme Outline

  • Introduction to Health Technology Assessment (HTA)
  • HTA modelling and simulations techniques and free tools
  • Early stage HTA: how inform the design of new medical devices applying reverse engineering to health economics
  • HTA case studies
  • Presentation of the IFMBE HTA Division eLearning Platform

Speaker Profile

Leandro Pecchia received the degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2005 and the PhD in Economy and Management of Healthcare Services and Organizations in 2009 from the University “Federico II” of Naples. He is Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, where he directs the Applied Biomedical Signal Processing and Intelligent eHealth Lab (ABSPIE). He has authored or co-authored about 90 journal, book and conference papers in the fields of machine learning and biomedical signal processing applied to healthy ageing, chronic diseases and falls in the elderly. Dr Pecchia is the Chairman of the Health Technology Assessment Division of the International Federation of Medical and Biomedical Engineering (IFMBE) and Chair of the Public Affair Working Group of the European Alliance of Medical and Biological Engineering and Science.


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