16th HTAi Annual Meeting 2019, Cologne: international experts look into the future of HTA

New treatment options / Personalized medicine / Do "more data" also mean "better data"? / Suitable methods / International collaboration

Francesca Colombo, Head of the Health Division at the OECD, will introduce the scientific programme of the HTAi Annual Meeting in Cologne on 17 June with a keynote speech: Patient-centred health care and evidence-based health policy based on internationally comparable data are her key topics – and those of the meeting.

Around 1100 experts for the assessment of medical procedures and technologies (health technology assessment = HTA) from around 65 countries are expected to attend the annual meeting of the international society HTA International (HTAi) in Cologne from 15 to 19 June 2019. Alric Rüther, Head of the International Affairs Unit at the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), was in charge of the coordination of the scientific meeting programme. At this year's HTAi meeting, researchers from the Institute will participate in numerous events such as panel discussions, panels, working groups and workshops as well as present lectures, posters and vignettes.

HTA after 2020

How can HTA develop further after 2020? For Europe in particular, this is an explosive question because the EU Commission's funding for the European HTA network (EUnetHTA) will expire in 2020. At the political level, there is currently a controversial discussion about a possible harmonization of HTA in Europe: Should the assessment results primarily produced by an HTA agency in one country be bindingly transferred to all other member states? Can assessments prepared jointly by several countries be used by other countries, perhaps even worldwide?

These fundamental and many other questions will be discussed by HTA experts from all over the world at this year's HTAi meeting in Cologne. The three large panel discussions are dedicated to the international applicability of European HTA assessments to other health systems, the challenge of increasing digitalization in the health care system, as well as the smart, worldwide building of HTA capability in methodological and institutional terms.

In 50 panels, 10 working groups and 26 workshops, as well as numerous lectures and posters, the important aspects of international HTA work will be presented and discussed - from dealing with big data and real-world evidence in HTA research to the assessment of medical devices, HTA in rare diseases, patient and consumer involvement, pricing, as well as the analysis of social media and reliable information retrieval.

Health Technology Assessment International

The meeting is organized by "Health Technology Assessment International", HTAi for short. In this non-commercial society, experts are organized worldwide who either prepare HTA reports themselves or use them for their decisions in health care or health policy. Currently, around 82 organizations and a good 2500 persons from 65 countries are members –including IQWiG, which coordinates the scientific programme of this year's HTAi meeting.

The Cologne-based German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI), a subordinate authority of the Federal Ministry of Health, is responsible for organizing the meeting on site.

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