Jul 24th 2017

Health Technology Assessment: Choosing Which Treatments Get Funded (FutureLearn)

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Before new drugs or treatments are adopted, their effectiveness and cost must be assessed. Find out how in this online course.

Have you ever wondered why some drugs are made available to patients via healthcare services such as the NHS, while others are not?

In this free online course, we’ll look at how healthcare organisations make decisions about whether we should have access to certain treatments, focussing on a key part of the information used to make these decisions - Health Technology Assessment (HTA).

Explore the processes behind Health Technology Assessment

Over five weeks, we’ll take you through some of the key processes that go into creating a Health Technology Assessment.

We’ll investigate how HTA can help aid decision making, by finding and bringing together a wide variety of evidence about both the effects of treatments and what they cost. We’ll discover how HTA uses sophisticated research methods and techniques, to bring this evidence together in a format that can be used in a variety of health systems around the world.

We’ll look at some of the key processes of HTA in order to answer some key questions about a new treatment, such as:

- How do we know if the treatment is of benefit?

- How can we make sense of all the evidence?

- And how is evidence of the cost of drugs used in HTA?

We’ll also explore how the final HTA report fits within the wider range of information used to make decisions about which treatments to fund.

Learn with HTA experts from The University of Sheffield

The educators for this course are based in the School of Health and Related Research at The University of Sheffield and are experts in this kind of research, so you will be learning from people who are actively involved in HTA and in developing the methods used.

We’ll show you the process using animated videos and interactive exercises, and by looking at an actual completed Health Technology Assessment that went on to inform healthcare decisions in the real world.

Understand why new health technologies are funded

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to explain the process which leads to potential decisions on whether or not a new health technology is adopted and funded by the NHS or another national healthcare system. You’ll be able to make an informed contribution to a discussion about NHS decisions and form your own, knowledgable opinions about the subject.

Whether you’re in the medical or pharmaceutical profession, studying or thinking of studying a subject such as medicine, nursing, healthcare or health economics, or simply an interested member of the public or a patient yourself, this course will give you the story behind the headlines. And you’ll be able to answer the question: how do healthcare systems make decisions about funding new treatments?