H e a l t h T e c h n o l o g
evidence: CCOHTA delivers research on drugs, medical devices and systems
J. David Mitchell Photo
Sheila Tucker is CCOHTA’s Liaison
Officer for Newfoundland and Labrador
CCOHTA’s health technology
assessments can save you time in evaluating the research evidence.
by Sheila Tucker
Advances in drugs, medical devices and
health care equipment create a steady stream of new diagnostic and
treatment options that may improve the quality of health care. New
options, often of increasing complexity, can also create new
challenges. How do you decide which is the most appropriate
technology or drug to use for the best patient care? The Canadian
Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment (CCOHTA) can
CCOHTA’s health technology assessments can
save you time in evaluating the research evidence by answering questions
such as: What is the clinical effectiveness of this technology? Does it
offer a clinical advantage compared with other alternatives? Who will
benefit from its use?
An important aspect of a health technology
assessment (HTA) is the systematic approach to synthesising research
into a review that has been validated by subject matter experts. Bias
that may exist from individual small studies, expert bias or
methodological weaknesses is reduced when a large body of published,
unpublished, national and international literature is reviewed together.
CCOHTA provides a summary and critical appraisal of all available
evidence on the clinical impact as well as other information related to
a particular technology. In this respect, HTA is a powerful tool that
literally brings together a world of information.
CCOHTA’s recent assessments addressed
topics such as artificial skin grafts in chronic wound care, and
cholinesterase inhibitors for the treatment of moderate to severe
Alzheimer’s disease. These and all of CCOHTA’s publications are
available free of charge through CCOHTA’s web site at
also welcome your suggestions for new topics!
If you are seeking evidence on what is new
and upcoming in the health system, CCOHTA’s Canadian Emerging
Technologies Assessment Program (CETAP) can keep you informed about the
evidence on new technologies likely to influence the delivery of health
care. Topics in recent issues of our Issues in Emerging Health
Technologies series include exenatide for the treatment of type 2
diabetes mellitus, and MRI-guided focused ultrasound for the treatment
of uterine fibroids.
Do you have a specific and time-sensitive
question about a particular drug or medical device? Our Health
Technology Inquiry Service (HTIS) delivers evidence-based information on
a range of health technology issues from across Canada in a short time
frame. We have responded to more than 100 questions, addressing subjects
such as the clinical effectiveness of insect venom vaccines, and insulin
pumps for treatment of diabetes.
For your health-related questions on
topics such as drugs, devices and medical equipment please contact
Sheila Tucker, CCOHTA’s Liaison Officer for Newfoundland and Labrador at
(709) 777-8740 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CCOHTA is an independent,
not-for-profit agency dedicated to supporting informed decision making
in health care. The liaison office for Newfoundland & Labrador is
located at the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health
Research, Memorial University, St. John’s.