Saturday, July 13, 2024

HIQA Reviews Enhanced Flu Vaccines for Seniors Amid Broader Healthcare Initiatives and Innovations

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Enhanced flu vaccines are being reviewed in a public consultation by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). This consultation, focusing on those aged 65 and older, opened on 30 May and closes on 11 July. The evaluation aims to determine the safety and effectiveness of enhanced flu vaccines compared to standard ones. If deemed more effective and cost-efficient, these flu vaccines could be incorporated into the HSE’s Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Programme. This decision will be influenced by flu vaccine costs and overall health benefits.

HIQA published the annual Knowledge Sharing and Impact Assessment Report for 2023 in June. This report details the impact of HIQA’s work in health technology assessment (HTA) and evidence synthesis. Key highlights include 4,039 views and over 1,600 downloads of more than 130 HTA outputs from the website, 3,094 clicks on LinkedIn posts about HTA publications, and 39 workshops, presentations, and posters delivered at various conferences. The report underscores the broad reach and influence of HIQA’s work in enhancing healthcare decision-making and policy development.

HIQA Assesses Flu Vaccines for Seniors and Reviews Screening Programs

HIQA is conducting a health technology assessment (HTA) on the value of screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) in men. This study aims to provide advice to the National Screening Advisory Committee to inform its recommendation to the Minister for Health on whether to introduce an AAA screening program in Ireland. AAA is a serious condition involving bulging in the aorta, which can rupture if left untreated. Early detection through screening could significantly reduce mortality rates. The assessment is scheduled for completion next year, and it prioritizes men’s health due to higher prevalence rates.

HIQA published a report on universal ultrasound screening for developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) in infants. This evidence review was requested by the National Screening Advisory Committee. The report found that evidence on the effectiveness of universal versus selected ultrasound screening for DDH is limited, making it difficult to conclude the added value of universal screening. As a result, uncertainty remains about whether introducing universal ultrasound screening for DDH would be beneficial. The findings highlight the need for further research to make informed decisions on DDH screening policies.

Flu Vaccines

HIQA Approves New Prostate Cancer Therapy, Advances in Flu Vaccines, and Radiology Practices

In April, HIQA approved the use of 177Lutetium PSMA radioligand therapy for treating metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer. This therapy targets specific prostate cancer cells, emitting radioactivity to damage the cells and providing a new treatment option for patients whose cancer has spread and progressed despite other treatments. The approval was based on evidence indicating the therapy’s safety and effectiveness. HIQA continues to work on justifying new practices involving medical exposure to ionizing radiation, including a review of MRI-guided radiotherapy and guidelines for radiological procedures on asymptomatic individuals.

HIQA has been actively participating in various conferences. On 2 May, Dr. Máirín Ryan presented at the HealthTech Ireland Symposium in Dublin, discussing collaborative technology work in health services. At the European Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL) annual conference in Riga, Latvia, from 11-14 June, Librarian Marie Carrigan presented a study on search strategies using the PubReMiner text-mining tool. Senior HTA Analyst Lydia O’Sullivan attended the PrISMA project kick-off meeting in Amsterdam, focusing on the EU’s strategic plan for medical ionizing radiation applications.


Resource: Health Information and Quality Authority, July 10, 2024

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