Objectives: Medical device companies are under growing pressure to provide health-economic evaluations of their products. Cost-effectiveness analyses are commonly undertaken as a one-off exercise at the late stage of development of new technologies; however, the benefits of an iterative use of economic evaluation during the development process of new products have been acknowledged in the literature. Furthermore, the use of Bayesian methods within health technology assessment has been shown to be of particular value in the dynamic framework of technology appraisal when new information becomes available in the life cycle of technologies.
Methods: In this study, we set out a methodology to adapt these methods for their application to directly support investment decisions in a commercial setting from early stages of the development of new medical devices.
Results and conclusions: Starting with relatively simple analysis from the very early development phase and proceeding to greater depth of analysis at later stages, a Bayesian approach facilitates the incorporation of all available evidence and would help companies to make better informed choices at each decision point.