Dr Leandro Pecchia, EAMBES President-Elect, and Prof Nicolas Pallikarakis, EAMBES Coucillor, helping Greece and WHO in setting the Hellenic Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Agency, paying the due attention to medical devices.
It was not long time ago, when (biomedical) engineers were very little involved in any HTA. EAMBES members have played a key role in supporting change in this area, achieving significant impact in relatively little time. Dr. Pecchia and Prof. Pallikarakis have been Chairing the IFMBE HTA Division, respectively in 2015 and 2013. Since then, there has been a significant flourishing of HTA related activities in the BME community. The Biomedical Engineering Conferences have been giving growing space to HTA papers, round tables and keynotes. As result, the majority of BME degrees in Europe, USA and Asia are starting introducing HTA as a core topic for BME. As result, only 4 years later, WHO is systematically considering BMEs among the international experts to support their action in different Countries, and often EAMBES representatives. Last weekend, Dr Pecchia and Prof Pallikarakis have been in Athens, on WHO invitation, to deliver an intensive training on HTA and to review and provide feedback on recently proposed Greek regulation on HTA, before this will be enforced in the next few months. The training was addressed to 20 Officers from the Greek Ministry of Health, and was followed by a workshop aiming at discussing the draft regulation and prepare formal recommendation, basing also on the recent publication* focusing on HTA of medical devices.
* Polisena, J., Castaldo, R., Ciani, O., Federici, C., Borsci, S., Ritrovato, M., … & Pecchia, L. (2018). Health technology assessment methods guidelines for medical devices: how can we address the gaps? The International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering perspective. International journal of technology assessment in health care, 34(3), 276-289.