When will we learn how to evaluate complex healthcare interventions?

This editor’s piece last week entitled “Is this the last time the flat earth society will be celebrating” was very widely read – thank you readers – and prompted both further thoughts and an especially thoughtful pointer from Mike Clark.

As readers of that post will be aware, the paper referred to in the post focused heavily on the high cost/QALY supposedly shown by the Whole System Demonstrator RCT. Mike drew my attention to a paper, published both here and here, by Trine Bergmo on the different ways in which the concept of a QALY is calculated for remote patient monitoring. The thrust of the paper is that different methods give significantly different results for interventions like telehealth. To this editor there was another equally important message though, that (more…)