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Concept: Cost-effectiveness analysis


Reliable environmental monitoring requires cost effective but highly sensitive and selective gas sensors. While the sensitivity of the sensors is improved by reducing the characteristic dimensions of the gas-sensing material, the selectivity is often approached by combining the sensors into multisensor arrays. The development of scalable methods to manufacture such arrays based on low-dimensional structures offers new perspectives for gas sensing applications. Here we examine an approach to produce multisensor array chips based on the TiOx nanotube layers segmented by multiple Pt strip electrodes. We study the sensitivity and selectivity of the developed chip at operating temperatures up to 400 °C towards organic vapors in the ppm range. The results indicate that the titania nanotubes are a promising material platform for novel cost-effective and powerful gas-analytical multisensor units.

Concepts: Oxygen, Costs, Sensitivity and specificity, Temperature, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Titanium dioxide, Array, Selectivity


Cryptococcal meningitis (CM)-related mortality may be prevented by screening patients for sub-clinical cryptococcal antigenaemia (CRAG) at antiretroviral-therapy (ART) initiation and pre-emptively treating those testing positive. Prior to programmatic implementation in South Africa we performed a cost-effectiveness analysis of alternative preventive strategies for CM.

Concepts: AIDS, Costs, Cost-effectiveness analysis


Devices and programs using digital technology to foster or support behavior change (digital interventions) are increasingly ubiquitous, being adopted for use in patient diagnosis and treatment, self-management of chronic diseases, and in primary prevention. They have been heralded as potentially revolutionizing the ways in which individuals can monitor and improve their health behaviors and health care by improving outcomes, reducing costs, and improving the patient experience. However, we are still mainly in the age of promise rather than delivery. Developing and evaluating these digital interventions presents new challenges and new versions of old challenges that require use of improved and perhaps entirely new methods for research and evaluation. This article discusses these challenges and provides recommendations aimed at accelerating the rate of progress in digital behavior intervention research and practice. Areas addressed include intervention development in a rapidly changing technological landscape, promoting user engagement, advancing the underpinning science and theory, evaluating effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, and addressing issues of regulatory, ethical, and information governance. This article is the result of a two-day international workshop on how to create, evaluate, and implement effective digital interventions in relation to health behaviors. It was held in London in September 2015 and was supported by the United Kingdom’s Medical Research Council (MRC), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Methodology Research Programme (PI Susan Michie), and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation of the United States (PI Kevin Patrick). Important recommendations to manage the rapid pace of change include considering using emerging techniques from data science, machine learning, and Bayesian approaches and learning from other disciplines including computer science and engineering. With regard to assessing and promoting engagement, a key conclusion was that sustained engagement is not always required and that for each intervention it is useful to establish what constitutes “effective engagement,” that is, sufficient engagement to achieve the intended outcomes. The potential of digital interventions for testing and advancing theories of behavior change by generating ecologically valid, real-time objective data was recognized. Evaluations should include all phases of the development cycle, designed for generalizability, and consider new experimental designs to make the best use of rich data streams. Future health economics analyses need to recognize and model the complex and potentially far-reaching costs and benefits of digital interventions. In terms of governance, developers of digital behavior interventions should comply with existing regulatory frameworks, but with consideration for emerging standards around information governance, ethics, and interoperability.

Concepts: Health care, Better, Health economics, Medicine, Public health, Health insurance, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Cost-utility analysis


Faecal immunochemical tests (FITs) and colonoscopy are two common screening tools for colorectal cancer(CRC). Most cost-effectiveness studies focused on survival as the outcome, and were based on modeling techniques instead of real world observational data. This study evaluated the cost-effectiveness of these two tests to detect colorectal neoplastic lesions based on data from a 5-year community screening service. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was assessed based on the detection rates of neoplastic lesions, and costs including screening compliance, polypectomy, colonoscopy complications, and staging of CRC detected. A total of 5,863 patients received yearly FIT and 4,869 received colonoscopy. Compared with FIT, colonoscopy detected notably more adenomas (23.6% vs. 1.6%) and advanced lesions or cancer (4.2% vs. 1.2%). Using FIT as control, the ICER of screening colonoscopy in detecting adenoma, advanced adenoma, CRC and a composite endpoint of either advanced adenoma or stage I CRC was US$3,489, US$27,962, US$922,762 and US$23,981 respectively. The respective ICER was US$3,597, US$439,513, -US$2,765,876 and US$32,297 among lower-risk subjects; whilst the corresponding figure was US$3,153, US$14,852, US$184,162 and US$13,919 among higher-risk subjects. When compared to FIT, colonoscopy is considered cost-effective for screening adenoma, advanced neoplasia, and a composite endpoint of advanced neoplasia or stage I CRC.

Concepts: Health economics, Cancer, Oncology, Costs, Anatomical pathology, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, Healthcare quality


Sodium consumption is a modifiable risk factor for higher blood pressure (BP) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed voluntary sodium reduction goals targeting processed and commercially prepared foods. We aimed to quantify the potential health and economic impact of this policy.

Concepts: Health economics, Epidemiology, Nutrition, Blood, Food, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Cost-utility analysis, Pharmacoeconomics


The objective is to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of the Australian National Hand Hygiene Inititiave implemented between 2009 and 2012 using healthcare associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia as the outcome. Baseline comparators are the eight existing state and territory hand hygiene programmes. The setting is the Australian public healthcare system and 1,294,656 admissions from the 50 largest Australian hospitals are included.

Concepts: Health economics, Universal health care, Staphylococcus aureus, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Australia, Healthcare quality


Background Early, goal-directed therapy (EGDT) is recommended in international guidelines for the resuscitation of patients presenting with early septic shock. However, adoption has been limited, and uncertainty about its effectiveness remains. Methods We conducted a pragmatic randomized trial with an integrated cost-effectiveness analysis in 56 hospitals in England. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either EGDT (a 6-hour resuscitation protocol) or usual care. The primary clinical outcome was all-cause mortality at 90 days. Results We enrolled 1260 patients, with 630 assigned to EGDT and 630 to usual care. By 90 days, 184 of 623 patients (29.5%) in the EGDT group and 181 of 620 patients (29.2%) in the usual-care group had died (relative risk in the EGDT group, 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.85 to 1.20; P=0.90), for an absolute risk reduction in the EGDT group of -0.3 percentage points (95% CI, -5.4 to 4.7). Increased treatment intensity in the EGDT group was indicated by increased use of intravenous fluids, vasoactive drugs, and red-cell transfusions and reflected by significantly worse organ-failure scores, more days receiving advanced cardiovascular support, and longer stays in the intensive care unit. There were no significant differences in any other secondary outcomes, including health-related quality of life, or in rates of serious adverse events. On average, EGDT increased costs, and the probability that it was cost-effective was below 20%. Conclusions In patients with septic shock who were identified early and received intravenous antibiotics and adequate fluid resuscitation, hemodynamic management according to a strict EGDT protocol did not lead to an improvement in outcome. (Funded by the United Kingdom National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme; ProMISe Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN36307479 .).

Concepts: Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Medical statistics, Intensive care medicine, Relative risk, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Absolute risk reduction, Number needed to treat


Recently, the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission (GIC) prioritized research on the implications of a clause expressly prohibiting the denial of health insurance coverage for transgender-related services. These medically necessary services include primary and preventive care as well as transitional therapy.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Medicine, United States, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Cost-utility analysis, Pharmacoeconomics, Massachusetts


This CORR Insights™ is a commentary on the article “Ultrasound as a first line test in the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome: a cost effectiveness analysis” by John R Fowler and colleagues available at DOI 10.1007/s11999-012-2662-3 .

Concepts: Costs, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Carpal tunnel, Carpal tunnel syndrome


The outlook for transplant-ineligible multiple myeloma patients has improved enormously over recent years with the incorporation of new agents into standard regimens. Novel regimens combine melphalan and prednisone (MP) with bortezomib (VMP), with thalidomide (MPT), and with lenalidomide with (MPR-R) and without (MPR) lenalidomide maintenance. The efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness of these regimens have not yet been compared; therefore, we conducted a pharmacoeconomic analysis using data from randomized controlled trials versus MP.Using a Markov model developed from a U.S. payer’s perspective, we compared VMP with MPT and MPR-R over a lifetime horizon. MPT and MPR-R were chosen because, like VMP, they are superior to MP in response and outcomes. Data from the Velcade as Initial Standard Therapy in Multiple Myeloma (VISTA; VMP), Intergroupe Francophone duMyelome(IFM) 99-06 (MPT), andMM-015(MPR-R) trials were used. The IFM 99-06 study was selected because of the superior activity in this study compared with other MPT studies. Using patient-level (VMP) and published (MPT, MPR-R) data, we estimated the health-state transition and adverse event probabilities for each regimen, related costs, and statespecific utility estimates. Costs (in 2010 U.S. dollars) and health outcomes were discounted at 3%.Discounted lifetime direct medical costs were lowest with VMP at $119,102. MPT cost $142,452 whereas MPR-R cost $248,358. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio calculations projected that VMP would confer cost savings and better health outcomes relative to MPT and MPR-R. We conclude that VMP is highly likely to be cost-effective compared with MP, MPT, and MPR-R.

Concepts: Multiple myeloma, Health economics, Costs, Randomized controlled trial, Thalidomide, Lenalidomide, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Bortezomib