Trends and opportunities in health economic evaluations of prosthetic care innovations

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Frossard, Laurent
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Overcoming obstacles to prosthetic fittings requires frequent tryouts of sockets and components. Repetitions of interventions are upsetting for users and place substantial economic burden on healthcare systems. Encouraging prosthetic care innovations capable of alleviating clinical and financial shortcomings of socket-based solutions is essential. Nonetheless, evidence of socio-economic benefits of an innovation are required to facilitate access to markets. Unfortunately, complex decisions must be made when allocating resources toward the most relevant health economic evaluation (HEE) at a given stage of development of an innovation. This paper first, aimed to show the importance and challenges of HEEs of intervention facilitating prosthetic fittings. Next, the main trends in HEEs at various phases of product development and clinical acceptance of prosthetic care innovations were outlined. Then, opportunities for a basic framework of a preliminary cost-utility analysis (CUA) during the mid-stage of development of prosthetic care innovations were highlighted. To do this, fundamental and applied health economic literature and prosthetic-specific publications were reviewed to extract and analyse the trends in HEEs of new medical and prosthetic technologies, respectively. The findings show there is consensus around the weaknesses of full CUAs (e.g., lack of timeliness, resource-intensive) and strengths of preliminary CUAs (e.g., identify evidence gaps, educate design of full CUA, fast-track approval). However, several obstacles must be overcome before preliminary CUA of prosthetic care innovations will be routinely carried out. Disparities of methods and constructs of usual preliminary CUA are barriers that could be alleviated by a more standardized framework. The paper concludes by identifying that there are opportunities for the development of a basic framework of preliminary CUA of prosthetic care innovations. Ultimately, the collaborative design of a framework could simplify selection of the methods, standardise outcomes, ease comparisons between innovations and streamline pathways for adoption. This might facilitate access to economical solutions that could improve the life of individuals suffering from limb loss.

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Canadian Prosthetics & Orthotics Journal

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© 2021 Laurent Frossard. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. All articles are permanently available online to the public without restrictions or subscription fees. All articles are free to be used, cited, and distributed, on condition that appropriate acknowledgment is included. Authors are the copyright holders of their original contributions. The published article is simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons (CC) Attribution License.

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Public health

Health economics

Prosthetics and orthotics

Clinical sciences

Allied health and rehabilitation science

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Frossard, L, Trends and opportunities in health economic evaluations of prosthetic care innovations, Canadian Prosthetics & Orthotics Journal, 4 (2), pp. 9