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Assessing Emerging Health Technologies: An Integrated Perspective

Jacob, J. (2023). Assessing Emerging Health Technologies: An Integrated Perspective. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Healthcare expenditures account for approximately 9% of GDP in OECD countries and are on an upward trajectory (OECD, 2017). This significant financial burden, combined with an aging global population and increasing demand, emphasizes the imperative for sustained research and innovation to enhance health system efficacy. Key to this transformation are technological advancements, including digital health, which presents novel opportunities for improvement.

Emerging digital health technologies, such as virtual consultations, complex imaging procedures, and electronic medical records, are fundamental to modern healthcare infrastructures. However, significant gaps remain in the evaluation and understanding of these innovations, especially for nascent technological areas. This thesis addresses this subject, aiming to delineate how individuals and institutions can bolster their evaluative capabilities, strategic decision-making, and planning for the deployment of emerging digital healthcare technologies. The research methodology amalgamates theoretical exploration, literature scrutiny, and empirical examinations, presenting an integrated perspective that intersects the disciplines of Management & Decision Science, Technology & Innovation, and Health Economics & Outcomes Research.

From an applied perspective, this research focuses on developing evidence within the context of pediatric healthcare in Canada — a context notably underrepresented in healthcare management research, despite its disproportionate per capita expenditure. Technologically, the predominant focus is on applications in virtual reality (VR) and three-dimensional (3D) printing and virtualization, though with the aspiration of ensuring the generalizability of results.

The current thesis is structured to parallel the progression of the research itself, as three distinct phases; this begins with a comprehensive Background that contextualizes the initial intent, exploring the relationship between technology, innovation, and health outcomes. In this phase, each academic discipline is analyzed to identify base theoretical underpinnings for the research.

The second phase of this work includes five empirical studies, each preceded by context-specific literature reviews for the respective technological domain, providing insight into the current state of evidence related to value-based assessment and economic evaluation in that area. Empirical studies included a randomized controlled trial and a cost consequences assessment of VR for pre-procedural preparation for medical imaging. Additionally, novel applications of 3D printing and virtualization are critically analyzed, accompanied by a multi-case study on the implementation of 3D printing in pediatrics, a cost-consequences study of applications for thoracoabdominal surgeries, and an outcomes study on the use of 3D virtualization in medical education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The final phase of this research includes the critical analysis and synthesis of findings into a proposal for a novel value-based assessment and decision-making framework specific to emerging health innovations; this framework integrates insights and resources for clinicians, administrators, and policymakers. The outcomes of this research are skewed toward Knowledge Users, but also aims to advance the theoretical basis for health technology assessment (HTA).

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Departments: Bayes Business School > Bayes Business School Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
[thumbnail of Jacob thesis 2023 PDF-A.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible until 30 April 2027 due to copyright restrictions.


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