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Open Access Research article

Prioritisation criteria for the selection of new diagnostic technologies for evaluation

Annette Plüddemann1, Carl Heneghan1*, Matthew Thompson1, Nia Roberts1, Nicholas Summerton1, Luan Linden-Phillips2, Claire Packer2 and Christopher P Price1

Author Affiliations

1 Oxford Centre for Monitoring and Diagnosis, Department of Primary Health Care, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK

2 National Horizon Scanning Centre, Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK

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BMC Health Services Research 2010, 10:109  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-109

Published: 5 May 2010

Abstract

Background

Currently there is no framework for those involved in the identification, evaluation and prioritisation of new diagnostic technologies. Therefore we aimed to develop prioritisation criteria for the assessment of new diagnostic technologies, by gaining international consensus on not only which criteria should be used, but also their relative importance.

Methods

A two-round Delphi process was used to generate consensus amongst an international panel of twenty-six experts on priority criteria for diagnostic health technology assessment. Participants represented a range of health care and related professions, including government, industry, health services and academia.

Results

Based on the responses to the first questionnaire 18 criteria were placed into three categories: high, intermediate and moderate priority. For 16 of the 18 criteria, agreement with the categorisation of the criteria into the high, intermediate and moderate categories was high at ≥ 70% (10 had agreement ≥ 80%). A further questionnaire and panel discussion reduced the criteria to 16 and two categories; seven were classified as high priority and nine intermediate.

Conclusions

This study proposes an objective structure of prioritisation criteria to use when assessing new diagnostic technologies, based on an expert consensus process. The value of these criteria is that no one single component should be used as the decisive driver for prioritisation of new diagnostic technologies for adoption in healthcare settings. Future studies should be directed at establishing the value of these prioritisation criteria across a range of healthcare settings.