Published health technology assessments in Wales in Q1 of 2022

06

May 2022

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, model of care, and social care support, excluding pharmaceuticals.

HTW uses a staged process of assessment by developing three types of documents. Anyone can suggest a topic, and HTW also performs active horizon scanning. 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.

One topic, Transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat people with treatment-resistant major depression, was completed in  Q1 of 2022 with the publication of EAR and Guidance. It was concluded that the use of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in treatment-resistant major depression is partially supported by the evidence. The use of rTMS is well-tolerated, leads to a medium-term (up to three months) reduction in depression score, and improves response and remission rates compared with sham treatment. Further research is recommended to better determine the case for cost-effectiveness, to establish the long-term efficacy of rTMS, including potential maintenance therapy, and to determine the appropriate placement of rTMS in the NHS Wales treatment pathway.

Eleven MedTech-related TERs were published in Q1 of 2022:

See the full details here.

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