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Frequently Asked Questions

PHTI provides rigorous, evidence-based assessments of innovative digital health technologies to improve health and lower costs. Common questions and answers about PHTI and its assessments can be found below.

Updated March 20, 2024

Why was PHTI established?

The Peterson Health Technology Institute (PHTI) provides rigorous, evidence-based evaluations of innovative digital health technologies to improve health and lower costs. Our goal is to promote the adoption of high-value technologies and raise the bar for industry innovation through timely and practical digital health technology assessments. As an independent non-profit, PHTI analyzes the clinical benefits and economic impact of digital health solutions, as well as their effects on user experience, health equity, and privacy and security.

How is PHTI funded?

PHTI was founded in 2023 by the Peterson Center on Healthcare, a healthcare philanthropy committed to making higher quality, more affordable healthcare a reality for all Americans. Launched with a $50 million philanthropic commitment, PHTI functions as an independent non-profit and does not accept other outside funding for its work, including its assessments of digital health technologies. Assessments are publicly available and free of charge.

Who advises PHTI’s work?

PHTI solicits input and advice from a diverse set of stakeholders, including our Advisory Board, the Purchaser Advisory Council, clinical experts, patient representatives, technology innovators, and investors. During the assessment process, PHTI partners with clinical advisors, experts in health technology assessment, and health economists. Please contact us if you are interested in getting involved.

How does PHTI determine assessment areas?

PHTI’s selection process includes identifying therapeutic areas and healthcare services that (1) have a significant burden on patients and are driving significant levels of spending; (2) are experiencing rapid growth, digital innovation, and investment; and (3) have a strong evidence base to inform clinical and economic impact assessments. PHTI solely determines its selection of assessment areas, and is informed by market research, published literature, company data, and input from the Purchaser Advisory Council that includes health plans, employers, and providers.

How do PHTI evaluations incorporate the patient perspective?

PHTI engages patients throughout the assessment process. For each topic area, PHTI conducts focus groups and interviews directly with patients who have the condition and users of the digital health technologies. PHTI evaluations include an examination of clinical evidence on a number of patient-focused outcomes including: (1) user experience, (2) access and accessibility challenges that could impact health equity, and (3) the privacy and security implications of a given solution.

Does PHTI engage with companies that are being evaluated during the assessment process?

PHTI provides an opportunity for companies included in an assessment to meet with the PHTI evaluation team to understand the methodology and approach. Companies also have an opportunity to submit data and information to PHTI. Requested data includes clinical, economic, and commercial information. All company-submitted data is screened and reviewed, and relevant data and references are evaluated and included in the final results. PHTI also relies on publicly available information, regardless of whether or not a company chooses to submit data. PHTI applies the same standards for minimum evidence requirements and risk of bias reviews to company-submitted information as to all other studies included in a report. Companies do not influence the assessment methods or findings.

How does PHTI define budget impact?

Everything in our assessment starts with clinical effectiveness, which is required for digital solutions to warrant adoption. For tools that deliver meaningful clinical value, we estimate how they impact net healthcare spending at current prices using a budget impact model over a 1-3 year timeframe. Careful assessment of the budget impact of these technologies must balance the incremental health benefits and cost savings that these solutions deliver against the price paid to companies for the solution. Beyond clinical effectiveness and budget impact, digital health purchasers may weigh a range of other factors in their contracting decisions.

Will PHTI re-assess categories of digital tools over time?

Digital health is a rapidly involving field and new evidence may become available after publication of a PHTI evaluation. PHTI may periodically update reports to incorporate new and emerging technologies and innovations.