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.

Cartiva Synthetic Cartilage Implant (Wright Medical Group) for Treatment of First Metatarsophalangeal Joint Arthritis

March 22, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Osteoarthritis is the second most common disorder of the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. Osteoarthritis is characterized by the progressive loss of articular cartilage and development of osteophytes. Also referred to as hallux rigidus or hallux limitus depending upon the severity of joint dysfunction, the condition is characterized by pain and functional limitation that can range from mild to disabling. Although the exact prevalence is unknown, osteoarthritis of the first MTP joint has been reported to be present in 2.5% to 10% of adults. Technology Description: The Cartiva Synthetic Cartilage Implant (SCI) device is a molded, cylindrical implant created from...

Fractional Laser Treatment of Burn and Traumatic Scars for Functional Improvement

February 26, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: The 2 most problematic abnormal scars include keloids and hypertrophic scars, which may cause contracture leading to dysfunction and disfigurement. The incidence of hypertrophic scarring is estimated to occur in 91% of burn injuries. Technology Description: Fractional carbon dioxide and erbium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet lasers are commonly used for treatment of excessive scarring. Laser therapy may be used to improve erythema, texture, pliability, and pain associated with burn and traumatic scars. Controversy: There is no standard treatment for hypertrophic scars and keloids that result in functional impairment. Surgical excision can release scar tension and improve functionality; however, it is associated...

Zio Patch (iRhythm Technologies Inc.) Long-Term Ambulatory Cardiac Rhythm Monitoring

February 7, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Cardiac arrhythmias occur when there is abnormal formation or conduction of electrical impulses in the myocardium. General types of arrhythmias include bradycardia, tachycardia, and heart block. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is 1 of the most common arrhythmias, with an estimated prevalence of 2.7 to 6.1 million people with AF in the United States. Arrhythmias may be benign or associated with adverse events such as embolic stroke, damage to vital organs, or sudden death. Technology Description: The Zio Patch is a single-use, adhesive, external ambulatory electrocardiography (ECG) device that detects cardiac arrhythmias by continuously recording up to 14 days of ECG...

Proton Beam Therapy for Treatment of Pituitary Adenomas

February 5, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Tumors originating in the pituitary are the fourth most common type of intracranial tumor. The majority are slow-growing benign adenomas that do not metastasize. Symptoms from pituitary adenomas (PAs) result from endocrine dysfunction or compression of brain structures as the tumor enlarges, which may result in significant morbidity. Technology Description: Proton beam therapy (PBT) is a type of radiation composed of positively charged subatomic particles. PBT has the theoretical potential to achieve more selective treatment of the tumor mass, minimizing radiation to nontarget tissues, and to deliver higher doses of radioactivity. Controversy: A challenge associated with radiation therapy to the...

CardioMEMS Implantable Hemodynamic Monitor (Abbott) for Managing Patients with Heart Failure

January 3, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Heart failure (HF) is a chronic condition that develops over time due to circumstances that overwork and damage the heart. The primary causes include coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. HF is characterized by the inability of the heart to pump blood efficiently. HF is estimated to affect approximately 5.7 million people in the United States. Technology Description: The CardioMEMS Implantable Hemodynamic Monitor (CM-IHM) system includes an implantable pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) sensor, a transvenous catheter delivery system, a patient home-monitoring electronic system, and a secure Internet-accessible database that allows clinicians to access patient data. The CM-IHM...