International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care

METHODS

A MODEL FOR ASSESSMENT OF TELEMEDICINE APPLICATIONS: MAST

Kristian Kidholma1, Anne Granstrøm Ekelanda2, Lise Kvistgaard Jensena3, Janne Rasmussena3, Claus Duedal Pedersena3, Alison Bowesa4, Signe Agnes Flottorpa5 and Mickael Becha6

a1 Odense University Hospital kristian.kidholm@ouh.regionsyddanmark.dk

a2 Norwegian Center for Intergrated Care and Telemedicine

a3 Odense University Hospital

a4 University of Stirling

a5 Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services

a6 University of Southern Denmark

Abstract

Objectives: Telemedicine applications could potentially solve many of the challenges faced by the healthcare sectors in Europe. However, a framework for assessment of these technologies is need by decision makers to assist them in choosing the most efficient and cost-effective technologies. Therefore in 2009 the European Commission initiated the development of a framework for assessing telemedicine applications, based on the users’ need for information for decision making. This article presents the Model for ASsessment of Telemedicine applications (MAST) developed in this study.

Methods: MAST was developed through workshops with users and stakeholders of telemedicine.

Results: Based on the workshops and using the EUnetHTA Core HTA Model as a starting point a three-element model was developed, including: (i) preceding considerations, (ii) multidisciplinary assessment, and (iii) transferability assessment. In the multidisciplinary assessment, the outcomes of telemedicine applications comprise seven domains, based on the domains in the EUnetHTA model.

Conclusions: MAST provides a structure for future assessment of telemedicine applications. MAST will be tested during 2010–13 in twenty studies of telemedicine applications in nine European countries in the EC project Renewing Health.

Several stakeholders and experts participated in the workshops and provided continuous feedback to our work. We have received valuable comments from Finn Børlum Kristensen, Danish National Board of Health, Coordinating Secretariat, EUnetHTA and Catalan Agency for Health Technology Assessment (CAHTA) in Spain. Flora Giorgio and Francisca Rosario Garcia Lizana, European Commission Information Society & Media DG, have given helpful comments during the process of the study. Without their contribution it would not have been possible to achieve the results described in the article.

The project was funded by the EU under SMART 2008/0064 and was conducted as part of the MethoTelemed study.