News‎ > ‎Full Stories‎ > ‎

14 October 2016

posted Oct 14, 2016, 2:34 AM by Beck Lockwood   [ updated Oct 14, 2016, 3:07 AM ]
Showcasing methodology approaches at MEMTAB

Our growing reputation in developing methodologies for evaluating diagnostic tests led to an invitation to present some of our work at a symposium held at the University of Birmingham.

Methods for Evaluating Medical Tests and Biomarkers (MEMTAB) focuses on showcasing methodological development in the evaluation of diagnostics to demonstrate their clinical impact.

Bethany Shinkins (NIHR DEC Leeds Health Economics Theme Lead) and David Cairns (Biostatistician) presented work focusing on different aspects of the diagnostic pipeline.

In a joint project with NIHR DEC Oxford, Dr Shinkins (pictured) has reviewed Health Technology Assessment (HTA) reports to explore what types of evidence are currently incorporated into cost-effectiveness analyses and how this evidence is synthesised. These reports are often critical to informing clinical guideline recommendations and therefore are exemplars of ‘best practice’ methods for evaluating diagnostic tests.

“The Diagnostic Evidence Co-operatives were set up to streamline the evidence generation pathway for diagnostics – a process which can currently take up to 10-15 years, which is too long given the pace at which new technologies are being developed,” explains Dr Shinkins.

“Research projects such as this one help us to find identify the key evidence gaps in test evaluation and help us to identify methods for producing this evidence more efficiently. There tends to be a heavy focus on test accuracy and less attention paid to impact of the test on the clinical pathway and patient outcomes, which are intrinsic to adoption decisions.”

The second project, carried out by Dr Cairns and Mike Messenger, Deputy Director of NIHR DEC Leeds, addresses a different methodological challenge: identifying and assessing biomarkers for diagnosis and monitoring of patients with Acute Kidney Injury. “While numerous biomarkers are in development, there is a real need for better methodologies to rank biomarker candidates and improve the guidance for reporting clinical and analytical validity,” explains Dr Messenger. “Our project makes recommendations to improve the strategies being used, and calls for future projects to be aware of the additional resources required to overcome these challenges.”

Posters about these sessions can be downloaded 

Review strategies to inform research prioritization of biomarkers: AKI-Diagnostics case study

A framework for the quality assessment of measurement procedures using in vitro diagnostic medical devices (IVDs)

Evidence synthesis to inform model-based cost-effectiveness evaluations: A methodological systematic review of Health Technology Assessments