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J.Jpn. Surg. Soc.. 116(1): 64-69, 2015

Special contribution


1) Science for Innovation Policy Unit, Center for Promotion of Interdisciplinary Education and Research, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
2) Department of Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
3) Department of Pharmacoepidemiology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
4) Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
5) The Hakubi Center of Advanced Research, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

Tatsuto Nishigori1)2), Koji Kawakami1)3), Rei Goto1)4)5), Koya Hida2), Yoshiharu Sakai2)

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is the systematic evaluation to measure the value of new health technologies. It improves the quality of choices on hand for cost-effective health technologies that are considered valuable. Japan has built a society of longevity consisted of the institution of the universal health care system, which is financially unsustainable. In Japan, no independent HTA organization has been publicly established but the government is contemplating implementation of such system. To advance the usage of HTA into surgery, we need to establish methods for evaluating new surgical technologies with steep learning curves. The promotion of clinical researches is also essential, especially by taking advantage of observational studies from medical big data such as the Japanese nationwide database which has more than four million surgical cases registered. In addition, we need more clinical information regarding each surgical patient's quality of life and socioeconomic status. The countries already introduced HTA into their health care system have measures to solve the problems that arose and have developed necessary evaluating methods. To introduce and promote HTA in Japan without taking away the benefit of our current healthcare, it is required that surgeons collaborate with other specialists such as methodologists and health economists.

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