A new research chair has been created and its first holder appointed as McMaster University looks to cement its place as a leader in health technology management.
Jean-Éric Tarride is the inaugural McMaster Chair in Health Technology Management. He is an associate professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI), and an associate member of the Department of Economics at McMaster.
His five-year term was effective July 1, 2018.
"It is a big honour to be named a McMaster chair," said Tarride. "For this type of work involving health technology assessments, economic evaluations, health policy analysis and evidence-based medicine, McMaster is the place to be."
Health technology management influences innovation, as well as adoption and disinvestment decisions throughout the life cycle of technologies to better support health care decision-makers. Health technologies range from a drug, vaccine, device or diagnostic test through to a care management strategy or rehabilitation program.
The broad field encompasses systematic literature reviews, evidence synthesis, economic appraisal, patient reported outcomes, ethical, legal and social evaluations, policy analysis and knowledge translation, as well as patient and citizen input.
The new research chair is responsible for helping lead the establishment of a world-class program in health technology management; contributing to the body of scholarship in the field through teaching or research; and participating in the education programs of the school of medicine.
Paul O'Byrne, dean and vice-president of McMaster's Faculty of Health Sciences, said health technology management is an area of strength in the Faculty which will be strengthened through the new position.
"Dr. Tarride is an experienced leader and researcher who will establish a tradition of excellence as chair," he said.
Holger Schünemann, chair of the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, added: "We are pleased that this chair has been established in HEI to support our strong work and history in health technology assessment and that Dr. Tarride has been selected for this role."
Tarride notes that for many years, health technology assessments have been mostly done in advance of a health-care technology entering the system, in order to determine if the technology is safe, effective and cost-effective or if there are any other ethical, legal or social issues associated with the diffusion of the technology.
He said that it is often unknown how the technology will perform in real life as the evidence is mostly based on efficacy data most often derived from phase three randomized controlled trials.
"There is a growing trend in Canada and internationally to evaluate technologies throughout their life cycles," said Tarride. "Heath technology reviews can be conducted several times as the technology is used in real-world conditions, and these re-assessments confirm whether, and under which conditions, the technology should continue to be reimbursed."
Tarride holds a PhD in economics from Concordia University, as well as a master of arts degree in labour economics and an honours bachelor of arts degree in econometrics, both from the University of Toulouse. He joined McMaster as a faculty member in 2005.
He is also the director of the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA) at McMaster and the director of the Programs for Assessment of Technology in Health (PATH) at The Research Institute at St. Joe's Hamilton, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. He is the health technology assessment field leader within the Health Research Methodology (HRM) graduate program.
His primary research interests are in methods for the economic evaluation of health technologies and treatment of uncertainty in health technology assessments. He has authored more than 130 peer-reviewed journal articles related to economic evaluations of healthcare technologies and programs.
"One of my priorities as I start the job, is to build partnerships inside and outside of McMaster to foster further collaboration among such partners as academics, physicians, industry, patient groups, regulatory and reimbursement authorities, payers and decision-makers," he said. "We tend to work in silos, and there is significant value to bringing everyone together."