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Summer School on Health Technology Assessment (HTA)

8th – 10th September 2015, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom


Introduction to the Summer School School

eLecture: Introduction (Dr Leandro Pecchia, 8th of September 2015) [pre-amplified speakers recommended]


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 organised 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 medical physicists, clinical engineers and/or biomedical engineers (BME), working in research, manufacturing and/or National Health Systems/Services, interacting continuously with clinicians, health economists, hospital managers and patients. This lack of training has recently been raised by international organisations including the WHO, International Union for Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine (IUPESM), the International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE) and the European Alliance of Medical and Biological Engineering and Science (EAMBES).

This Summer School speaks directly to PhD students, early career researchers and academics with a technical background (i.e. physics, chemistry and/or engineering), who are working on healthcare technologies, and aims to provide them with theoretical and practical multidisciplinary training on HTA. This will include methodology, modelling, mathematics, laboratory based training and relevant case studies (i.e. medical devices and not only drugs). Attenders will learn principles, methods and how to use tools that will be important to inform their activities, maximising the uptake and impact of their research outcomes. In fact, informing the research and the design of new healthcare technologies with scientific methods for early stage HTA will have a considerable impact on a number of important elements (i.e. cost-effectiveness, ethical issues) during the research process, when with small changes it is possible to achieved big results.


Final program

The final program of the School can be download here: program.


Preliminary program

8th of September 2015, “Intro to HTA for biomedical engineers and medical physicists”;

The first day will provide an introduction to HTA and evidence based medicine methods and tools, a critical review to standard methods and why those methods provide limited information during the research and development of new medical devices and why particular attention is required in case of assessment of medical devices. The first day speakers will be:

  • Prof Saverio Stranges, Scientific Director Population Health Department, Luxembourg Institute of Health, Luxembourg
  • dr Mark Bale, Deputy Director, Genomics Science & Emerging Therapies, Health Science & Bioethics Division
    Public and International Health Directorate (PIHD), Department of Health
  • dr Christian Boehler, Scientific Officer at the European Commission Join Research Centre, Spain.
  • dr Leandro Pecchia, Chairman of the Health Technology assessment Division of the International Federation of Medical and Biomedical engineering (IFMBE), UK.

9th of September 2015, “HTA of Medical Devices and eHealth”

The second day will cover methods and applications of HTA for Medical Devices and eHealth. The second day speakers will be:

  • dr Rosanna Tarricone, Director of “Centre for Health and Social Care Management (CERGAS) at Bocconi University, Italy
  • dr Oriana Ciani, part-time Research Fellow at the Institute of Health Research and ESMI, Exeter University, UK and part-time Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Health and Social Care Management at Bocconi University, Italy.

10th of September 2015, “Premarket HTA: how to inform the R&D with HTA methods”.

The third day will focus on methods and tools aiming to inform he research and development of new healthcare innovations. Those methods aim to guide R&D processes aiming to obtain the best possible impact. The third day speakers will be:

  • dr Christian Boehler, Scientific Officer at the European Commission Join Research Centre, Spain.
  • dr Michael Craven, Senior Research fellow at the University of Nottingham in the NIHR MindTech Healthcare Technology Co-operative, UK
  • dr Marjan Hummel, Assistant professor ‘Management of Medical Technology’ at the University of Twente, the Netherlands.
  • dr Leandro Pecchia, Chairman of the Health Technology assessment Division of the International Federation of Medical and Biomedical engineering (IFMBE), UK

Program Committee

  • Dr Leandro Pecchia (Chair), Chairman of HTA Division of IFMBE, School of Engineering, University of Warwick.

  • Prof Christopher James, Editor-in-Chief of the IET Healthcare Technology Letters, School of Engineering University of Warwick.
  • Prof Nicolas Pallikarakis, Past Chair of the HTA Division of the IFMBE and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal on Clinical Engineering and Health Technology Assessment, Institute of Biomedical Technology, Patra, Greece.

  • Dr Rosanna Tarricone, Director of “Centre for Health and Social Care Management (CERGAS) at Bocconi University.

  • Dr Ernesto Iadanza, Chairmam of the IFMBEClinical Engineering Division, Chairman of the Education and Training Committee of the International Union for Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine (IUPESM)

Co-Organising Institutions

The school has been co-organized by:

Moreover, the school has been endorsed by:


Information and registration

For information and registration follow the link on the left of this page. The first, if you are Staff of PG Student of the University of Warwick, the second if you are not.

There is a limited number of admitted participants. Please contact the HTAschool at warwick dot ac dot uk if you are interested or use the link on the side of this page.


How to reach the Campus?

The University of Warwick is easily accessed from all major airports in the UK. There are two regional airports and the campus can also be reached by public transport from all the major London airports.

Follow this link for dettialed inforamation on how to reach the Campus: info for international visitors.


Scholarships and Grants (Deadline: Monday, July 20th, 12pm CET)

The COST Action BM1309 “European network for innovative uses of EMFs in biomedical applications”, is offering 6 scholarships (650€ each at a fix rate) to reimburse travel, accommodation and meal expenses. You are eligible to apply if you are from one of the participating countries of the COST BM1309 Action (full list is avaliable here).

In order to apply, you are kindly request to send to Prof Stavros Koulouridis (koulouridis at upatras dot gr) the following 3 documents:

  1. a motivation Letter (up to 2 pages)
  2. a short Curriculum Vitae (CV) (up to 2 pages)
  3. a Reference Letter or a Letter of Recommendation

Subject of the email should be “COST EMF-MED. Application Grant for Summer School on HTA, University of Warwick”.

The selection process will be concluded within the 29th of July and the awardee will be informed accordingly.

for rurther information please visit the website of teh COST Action http://cost-emf-med.eu/

Please feel free to contact dr L dot Pecchia at warwick dot ac dot uk for further info.

Registration and info: