What We’re Thinking
The United States leads the world in the research and discovery of medical innovations that improve health care quality, reduce costs and save lives. Yet despite their promise, new medical technologies face a slow path from lab bench to treatment room.
NEHI believes that the full potential of these innovations must be realized for the benefit of patients and our entire health care system.
What We’re Doing
NEHI is working to speed the adoption of medical innovations in these areas:
Policymakers in and beyond Washington are calling for the expanded use of comparative effectiveness research (CER) in the U.S. health care system, and proposals to expand government-funded CER are being addressed in health care reform bills proposed by the Obama administration and Congress this year. What impact will CER have on patient care and decision-making throughout the health care system -- and, in turn, on innovation in health care products and processes?
NEHI is launching an initiative aimed at addressing that critical question. In the coming months, NEHI will conduct focus groups to gather cross-industry views on the impact of CER on health care innovation; produce an issue brief; convene an expert roundtable to further explore key questions; hold a larger policy forum; and publish a more comprehensive white paper providing a roadmap on CER and its impact on innovation.
Click here for further background on CER and the critical questions NEHI aims to answer.
A joint partnership of NEHI, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the Health Technology Center, FAST identifies and rates high-potential, underused medical technologies according to the patient population served, impact on outcomes, potential cost savings and barriers to adoption. By highlighting high-value technologies, FAST provides a roadmap for improving health care delivery and helping public and private payers make informed coverage decisions.
During 2008-2009, the FAST team focused on telemedicine technologies that address chronic disease. Chronic disease is of particular concern because of the growing prevalence of illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease and the mounting costs these preventable conditions generate in the health care system. NEHI reviewed over 100 telemedicine technologies, identified the eleven considered most promising, and then examined in detail the two that were highest rated, Tele-stroke and Home Telehealth. NEHI completed Detailed Technology Analyses of each.
Click here for a Detailed Technology Analysis of Tele-stroke.
Click here for a Detailed Technology Analysis of Home Telehealth.
Through previous FAST searches, we have investigated the following technologies:
Tele-ICUs: Remote Management in Intensive Care Units
Tele-ICUs address the shortage in supply of intensivists in intensive care units (ICUs) by enabling a relatively small number of intensivists to oversee the care of large numbers of ICU patients. NEHI is currently engaged in a demonstration project with UMass Memorial Medical Center to examine the clinical and financial value of tele-ICUs in practice, with results anticipated in early 2010.
Remote Physiological Monitoring: Innovation in the Management of Heart Failure
RPM provides substantial benefits to the health care system by reducing the number of hospital visits, length of stay and health care costs – while improving quality of life – for heart failure patients. Click here for the latest research on RPM technologies.
Rapid Diagnostic Point of Care (POC) Testing
POC diagnostics, specifically rapid POC tests for infectious diseases including streptococcus, influenza and HIV, allow providers to make informed, real-time care decisions, resulting in enhanced patient awareness and satisfaction.
Challenges in Vaccine Policy: A Case Study of the HPV Vaccine
The HPV vaccine's immense promise in preventing cervical cancer -- and the barriers to its widespread adoption -- make it an ideal vehicle for implementing important improvements to the U.S. immunization system.
Insulin Analogs: Innovation in Biotechnology
Insulin analog drugs, used in combination therapy, are valuable and cost-effective for type 1 diabetes patients.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring: Innovation in the Management of Diabetes
CGM devices have potential to be highly valuable and cost-effective tools in managing diabetes.
Targeting Cancer: Innovation in the Treatment of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
The adoption of Gleevec, a pioneering drug in the treatment of CML, highlights challenges and opportunities in bringing drugs treating rare diseases to market.