About the Health Technology Assessment Service

( Last Updated : April 18, 2011)

Major decisions affecting the health of Canadians require a solid foundation of evidence. Health technology assessment (HTA) products are evaluations of clinical effectiveness and/or cost-effectiveness, and may include the ethical, legal, and social implications of health technologies on patient health and the health care system.

HTA products can involve assessments of new technologies or reassessments of existing technologies. They provide extensive information and conclusions but do not include recommendations from a CADTH expert committee. Health technologies include prescription drugs, diagnostic tests, and surgical, medical, or dental devices and procedures — but not broad health system issues, such as information technology, program delivery, staffing, and finance.

Health Technology Assessment Products

Our HTA products include:

  • CADTH Health Technology Assessment — a comprehensive evaluation of the clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and the ethical, legal, and social implications of health technologies on patient health and the health care system.
  • Technology Review —  the product line used for custom health technology reviews that contain some but not all of the elements of a traditional Health Technology Assessment (for example, an economic review without a clinical component).  

Topics of Pan-Canadian Interest

HTA products support evidence-informed decision-making about health policy and purchasing, service management, and clinical practice. Because of the rigour applied to HTA products, they are normally reserved for topics of pan-Canadian interest. CADTH Health Technology Assessments have been conducted on topics such as interventions to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, bariatric surgery, and robot-assisted surgery. CADTH Technology Reviews have been conducted on the treatment cost and budget impact analysis of blood plasma products.

Considering the Evidence

The work is carried out by a multidisciplinary team of researchers whose composition is appropriate to the nature of the project. Before being released, HTA products are peer-reviewed by external clinical, economic, and methodological experts as appropriate and internal CADTH staff. The findings are summarized in reports that translate the scientific and economic data into information relevant to decision-making.

Once finalized, CADTH HTA products are posted on cadth.ca, where they are freely available to anyone. To find out if there is a CADTH Health Technology Assessment or Technology Review for a particular topic of interest to you, simply use our search engine or contact the CADTH Liaison Officer nearest you.