Health Technology Wales (HTW) was established by Welsh Government in 2017 to support a national approach to the identification, appraisal and adoption of health technologies.
Throughout 2019, more than 65 technology topics were proposed to HTW for appraisal. Strong cross-sector relationships attracted these topic proposals from NHS Wales, industry, third sector, Welsh Government and academia.
As an independent organisation, HTW’s work covers any health technology that isn’t a medicine, such as medical devices, surgical procedures, psychological therapies, tele-monitoring or rehabilitation.
This wide remit has resulted in a busy work programme over the last year. Ten of the topic proposals progressed to full evidence appraisals, where the HTW team work with experts to determine their clinical and cost effectiveness. Six pieces of HTW Guidance were subsequently published during 2019. The Guidance is given to care commissioners to support evidence-informed decision making on whether to invest, or even disinvest, in a health technology.
Dr Susan Myles, Director of HTW, said:
“We estimate that the HTW Guidance we published in 2019 could impact more than 53,000 people in Wales. Our Guidance improves care for a large number of people and relates to a number of clinical areas, such as cancer, diabetes and limb prosthetics. It has the potential to yield cost saving of more than £3.1m* for Welsh health services. This impact can be felt across health and care in Wales and supports more efficient use of resources.”
HTW’s reach is extended through strategic alliances with a number of key organisations across health and care. New national and international partners for 2019 included Bevan Commission, Scottish Health Technologies Group, Health Information and Quality Authority and the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee. These relationships have helped HTW to grow its reputation, have enhanced access to experts and increase the status of its work.
*This figure is based on the assumption that there would be 50% technology uptake in the absence of HTW Guidance.