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Evidence to Improve Care

Reviews and Recommendations

To promote health care supported by the best evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze evidence and develop assessments of new and existing health care services and medical devices.

These reviews, called health technology assessments, also include recommendations on whether these services and devices should be publicly funded.

Search below for our health technology assessments. For further information, please contact us at HTA@HQOntario.ca.

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  Status: Final recommendation
Essential tremor is characterized by tremors at rest or during action, most commonly in the upper limbs. For people with debilitating essential tremor, magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound is a noninvasive treatment option.
  Status: Final recommendation
Urinary incontinence, distressing for patients and a burden for family caregivers, is a common cause of admission to long-term care. Briefs with built-in electronic sensors that detect and record urination patterns are designed to help staff at long-term care facilities or caregivers at home learn about the incontinence patterns of their patients. Estimated publication date: Spring 2018
Percutaneous Osseointegrated Limb Prosthesis Implantation for Persons with Lower Limb Amputations
 Status: In Development
For people with a foot or leg amputation, a conventional prosthesis (artificial limb) is attached to the stump by belts and cuffs or by suction. Friction between the stump and socket can be painful. A new type of device, not yet available in Canada, aims to address this problem by implanting the prosthesis socket into the bone. Estimated publication date: TBD
Auditory Brainstem Implantation
 Status: In Development
Auditory brainstem implantation is a surgical procedure that implants an electrode directly on the brainstem. The procedure may provide auditory sensation to restore some functional hearing for adults with deafness due to benign brain tumors or bilateral inner ear abnormalities, who are ineligible for cochlear implantation. Estimated publication date: TBD.
High-Frequency 10-kHz (HF10) Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Pain
 Status: In Development
Chronic pain affects approximately 1 in 5 Canadian adults, negatively impacting their quality of life. Spinal cord stimulation has been observed to provide some pain relief in up to 50% of patients. High frequency therapy is a minimally invasive procedure that may provide superior pain relief without some common side effects, such as a burning sensation. Estimated publication date: TBD.
A Flash Glucose Monitoring System for People with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes
 Status: In Development
About 10% of Ontarians are estimated to have diabetes. Frequent testing of glucose is critical for the effective management of diabetes. Monitoring glucose with the flash system may be more tolerable than the traditional finger-prick method. This review looks at the effectiveness of the flash glucose monitoring system compared with finger-prick in the management of type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Estimated publication date: TBD.
Liquid Biopsy for EGFR T790M Mutation in Patients With Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
 Status: In Development
Lung cancer is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. A mutation known as T790M contributes to cancer progression in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Liquid biopsy is a blood test that can detect this mutation and assist clinical decision-making without requiring a more invasive tissue biopsy. Estimated publication date: TBD.
  Status: Final recommendation
Optimal glucose control reduces the risk of many complications of type 1 diabetes. Continuous glucose monitoring provides information on glucose trends that can help health care professionals modify treatment plans.
Portable Normothermic Cardiac Perfusion System in Donation After Cardiocirculatory Death
 Status: In Development
Heart transplant is the most effective treatment for end-stage heart failure, but there is a shortage of donor hearts in Ontario. Currently, hearts from donation after cardiocirculatory death are not used and a new portable normothermic cardiac perfusion system may enable this. The device transports the donor heart in a warm beating state, simulating the conditions of the human body. Estimated publication date: Spring 2019
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) for Intermediate Surgical Risk Patients with Severe Aortic Valve Stenosis
 Status: In Development
The valves leading into the heart sometimes stiffen and narrow with age, reducing the hearts ability to pump blood. Current standard treatment is open heart surgery to replace the affected valve. TAVI is an alternative for patients at severe risk for complications from surgery. This study looks at TAVI for patients who are at moderate risk for complications. Estimated publication date: Spring 2019.

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