29 May 2019

In Value in Health Anouck Kluytmans, Marcia Tummers, Gert Jan van der Wilt and Janneke Grutters from the department for Health Evidence found, using a mixed methods approach, that although a recently developed medical technology was deemed ingenious by stakeholders, there was no underlying problem it could solve in its intended context (meniscus surgery). This suggests that in order to have value, developers should first explore the problem, before developing technology.

Abstract
 
Background:
Although the relevance of both push and pull factors is acknowledged in models of innovation, needs, broadly defined, are rarely considered, whereas supply-driven innovation in publicly funded health systems carries the risk that it may not match the underlying problems experienced by patients and consumers.
Objectives:
To explore a mixed-methods, multistakeholder approach that focuses on pertinent problems when assessing the potential value of an innovation as applied to a case of surgical innovation in meniscus surgery.
Methods:
Through interviews of stakeholders (n = 11) we sought to identify current problems of meniscus surgery in the Netherlands. On the basis of the subsequent problem definitions, we used stakeholder and literature input to quantify the room for improvement and stakeholder engagement to uncover possible barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the proposed innovation.
Results:
Despite being enthusiastic about the ingenuity of the proposed innovation and seeing some potential for cost saving, most stakeholders (n = 10) agreed that there are no major problems in current meniscus surgery meriting the innovation. They even discerned pragmatic barriers that would challenge the potential cost savings.
Conclusions:
By adopting a problem-oriented multistakeholder approach to early health technology assessment, we were able to estimate the potential value of an innovation in its social context, finding that, beyond the initial enthusiasm, the proposed innovation was unlikely to resolve the problems distinguished by the stakeholders. We concluded that our multistakeholder, mixed-methods approach to early health technology assessment is feasible and helps foster more demand-driven innovations
 
Publication

Early Assessment of Proof-of-Problem to Guide Health Innovation.
Kluytmans A, Tummers M, van der Wilt GJ, Grutters
J. Value Health. 2019 May
 

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