Comparative Effectiveness, Technology Assessment, & Innovation
New medical technologies play an important role in improving health but are also known to be the main driver of increased health care costs. While research suggests that new technologies are worthwhile on average and that the average returns to biomedical research are very high, there is also strong evidence that many technologies may not be worth their costs, especially as they are used in practice. Comparative effectiveness research is a burgeoning field that is analyzing the relative effectiveness of alternative interventions. CER uses diverse data sources and methods, including randomized clinical trials, observational studies, and simulation modeling and other strategies to synthesize evidence from diverse sources.
The Program in Comparative Effectiveness, Technology Assessment, and Innovation brings together researchers to advance and apply methods to determine and improve the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of medical technologies and to increase our understanding of how research and other factors affect innovation in health and health care. Critical questions include: What is the value of health and of health research? How do we determine the value of specific health technologies, both for individual patients and at a societal level? What determines how technologies diffuse in practice, and how does that impact their value as they are actually used?
To address questions such as these, the program draws on University of Chicago faculty in the Department of Medicine (General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics), the Health Studies Department, the MacLean Center for Medical Ethics, the Department of Economics, the Business School, the Graduate School of Public Policy, the School of Social Service Administration, and the Law School, and other interested faculty from other academic units. University of Chicago faculty were pioneers in the establishment of this field in the 1960s, and have continued to make important contributions in this area since that time, although this area has never before been targeted at the University as one for sustained institutional focus. Recently, University of Chicago faculty have again made major contributions in the area, paving the way for a program in this area that both advances methods and applies them to important clinical and policy issues.
The Program in Comparative Effectiveness, Technology Assessment, and Innovation supports further growth of this work by providing space for collaborative scholarly efforts including funded research projects and a workshop and by supporting development of a professional staff with expertise in decision modeling and related data analysis.
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