Health Technology Wales (HTW) is a national body working to improve the quality of care in Wales. It is funded by Welsh Government and hosted within NHS Wales but independent of both. HTW covers medical devices, diagnostics, procedures, psychological therapies, models of care, and social care support, excluding pharmaceuticals.
Anyone can suggest a topic, and HTW also performs active horizon scanning. HTW uses a staged process of assessment by developing three types of documents. The topic exploration report (TER) aimed to assess whether there is enough available evidence to proceed with a full appraisal and whether the topic meets the appraisal selection criteria. Based on the TER conclusions, HTW's Assessment Group decides whether to progress this topic further. If yes, the following two documents are developed: Evidence Appraisal Report (EAR) and Guidance (GUI).
Recommendations are not mandatory; the status of HTW guidance is "adopt or justify," meaning that the local health board and other relevant bodies are expected to report on how they have considered the appraisal and guidance. If they have chosen not to adopt HTW guidance, they are asked to outline their rationale and justify their decision.
In March 2023, one full appraisal was completed on photobiomodulation for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis associated with cancer treatment. HTW concluded that the evidence is insufficient to support routine adoption.
In March 2023, HTW published TER on digital tools for the monitoring and management of wounds focused on tools that use the “store-and-forward” technique, where patient information is recorded and sent to a healthcare professional for review. HTW decided to develop a full appraisal on this topic.
Furthermore, six Medtech-related TERs were published in March 2023, for which HTW will not with full appraisals. Some of those topics are provided below:
- AI-assisted ultrasound for deep vein thrombosis;
- Single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation for the acute treatment or prevention of migraines;
- Digital companion robots to deliver remote care.
See the full details here.
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