Health Technology Brief

supporting sound, evidence-based decision making

HT Briefs are concise technology assessment reports that provide an overall evaluation of the potential clinical and economic impact of new technologies
that are in the early stages of dissemination or of existing technologies that are being used for new applications.

View a sampling of our HT Briefs.

Lumacaftor-Ivacaftor (Orkambi) for Treatment of Cystic Fibrosis

June 28, 2018 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive genetic disease due to mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane receptor (CFTR) gene. The basic defect results in poor chloride and bicarbonate transport resulting in dehydration of secretions in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs. The bronchi and lungs are affected by recurrent bronchitis and bronchopneumonia, with progressive deterioration in pulmonary function, which remains the major cause of morbidity and mortality and reduced life expectancy. Technology Description: The combined lumacaftor (LUM)-ivacaftor (IVA) oral tablet contains 200 milligrams (mg) of LUM and 125 mg of IVA. LUM is a CFTR corrector that facilitates...

Diamondback 360 Coronary Orbital Atherectomy System for Coronary Artery Disease

June 20, 2018 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is responsible for serious health effects, including myocardial infarction (MI) and death. Even in asymptomatic patients, CAD may be heralded by atherosclerosis, the thickening and hardening of arteries due to plaque buildup. Atherosclerosis results from the accumulation of fatty deposits and cell products, including calcium and other crystalized materials. Over time, atherosclerosis in the vessels that supply blood to the heart can prevent the heart from receiving enough oxygenated blood, causing CAD. Technology Description: The Diamondback 360 Coronary Orbital Atherectomy System (OAS) has Food and Drug Administration approval for the treatment of de novo severely...

BostonSight Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem (PROSE) Treatment for Dry Eye Disease

June 19, 2018 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Dry eye disease (DED), a subset of ocular surface disorders, is a group of tear film disorders attributed to reduced tear production or excessive tear evaporation. It is associated with ocular discomfort and visual symptoms. DED may result in considerable disability and may lead to loss of vision in more severe cases; and may threaten the outcomes of refractive, cataract, and corneal surgery. Technology Description: BostonSight prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem (PROSE) treatment includes a fully individualized, customizable prosthetic transparent dome made of highly gas-permeable hard plastic, fluorosilicone/acrylate polymers, either oprifocon A or hexafocon B. The prosthesis...

Phrenic Nerve Stimulation (remed? System) for Central Sleep Apnea

June 12, 2018 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Central sleep apnea (CSA) is a group of syndromes that are characterized by sleep-disordered breathing associated with diminished or absent respiratory effort. Conditions associated with CSA include: problems that affect the brainstem, including brain infection, stroke, or conditions of the cervical spine; severe obesity; certain medicines, such as narcotic painkillers; and heart failure. Symptoms associated with CSA may include chronic fatigue, excessive daytime sleepiness, frequent nocturnal awakenings, morning headaches, and restless sleep. Technology Description: Phrenic nerve stimulation (PNS), also known as diaphragm pacing, is the electrical stimulation of the phrenic nerve using a surgically implanted device. This device contracts...

Nusinersen (Spinraza; Biogen) for Spinal Muscular Atrophy

June 7, 2018 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a recessive genetic disorder characterized by progressive proximal muscle weakness and atrophy. SMA is predominantly caused by deletions or mutations of survival motor neuron (SMN) SMN-1, which leads to degeneration of alpha motor neurons of the spinal cord anterior horn cells. This affects the proximal muscles, such as those of the legs, arms, and neck. There is no cure for SMA. Treatment consists of managing symptoms. Technology Description: Since patients with SMA have a deleted or mutated SMN-1 gene, they produce no SMN-1 protein. The very low level of full-length SMN-2 protein is insufficient...