R-HTA in LMICs

The R for HTA in LMICs chapter is the LMIC-focused chapter of R-HTA consortium that aims to introduce and showcase the strengths of R specifically to LMIC analysts and health care institutions.

Inaugral Workshop: a call for abstracts

The chapter is calling for health analysts to submit abstracts to present at the the inaugural, first-quarter workshop that is taking place on the 23rd February 2022. Please submit your abstract here.

Presentations can follow any format but must be R-related and ought to be as roughly applicable to LMIC contexts as possible. Accepted presentations should be planned to be 15-20 minutes in length, with an added 5-10 minutes for questions at the end of every presentation.

R-HTA in LMICs

The aim of the LMIC chapter is to bridge the gap in the use of R software among HTA analysts in LMICs. The chapter hosts both presentation-focused and tutorial-focused R workshops. In the first quarter of every year, the chapter hosts a presentation-based workshop which encourages LMIC Masters and PhD students at universities and members of other partnership organisations to present their R related health economics work. In every subsequent quarter, the chapter hosts introductory, intermediate and advanced workshops, applied within an LMIC context, which focus on practical, in-depth topics associated with modelling in R. For example: in introductory workshops, the chapter introduces participants to the basics of R and discuss how to use several open-source HTA R packages; more advanced topics include developing R-HTA models in interactive formats, using Shiny (click here for details). All attendees are provided with the key resources and code used in every workshop. The R-HTA in LMICs chapter’s website is currently under construction. A link to the LMIC chapter website will be posted on this page as soon as it is complete.

Why an LMIC chapter?

Microsoft Excel and TreeAge remain popular software for HTA modelling, especially in LMICs.

  • Many standard software used for HTA and health economics require costly subscriptions
  • R is a free, open source software - an obvious benefit in LMICs

Because LMICs are moving towards the principles of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) there will be an increased demand for complex HTA methodology, especially in oncology and other rare diseases.

  • This will make the need for more efficient and comprehensive software for HTA within LMICs gradually more necessary

Most LMIC institutions do not offer in-depth HTA tutorials in R.

  • There is a need to provide accessible workshops that showcase the strengths of R while also providing online tutorial and coding resources for LMIC analysts

But why R?

R scales efficiently

  • This is especially true when an HTA model becomes increasingly complex compared to other commonly used software (read more here)

R has an established user-base

  • There are several health economics packages which make coding in R more user-friendly: BCEA, hesim, heemod, and dampack

R ensures reproducibility

  • Models can easily and safely be hosted and shared via services such as Github
  • Using ‘version control’, updates do not ‘break’ models
  • With RMarkdown and Shiny, analysts can deliver transparent, reproducible reports and interactive models

The Team