Health systems around the world seek to address patients’ unmet health needs for a range of acute and chronic diseases. Simultaneously, governments strive to keep healthcare spending sustainable, while providing equal access to high-quality care. This has fuelled debate around what constitutes a valuable healthcare intervention in a health system and the corollary consideration of what governments are willing to pay for a certain health intervention. Until recently, the value of information in general, and the value of diagnostic information (VODI) specifically, was not part of the discussion.However, investment in diagnostic information can be a key development as information may guide more effective and efficient healthcare and help maintain an affordable health system. This paper therefore explores ways to best define, evaluate, and reward the value created from diagnostics in healthcare and how to include these value considerations in decision-making processes for diagnostics. The authors ultimately call for a holistic VODI framework that accounts for the full range of potential benefits of diagnostic testing, beyond the traditional clinical and health economic domains, and that is essential to recognise, measure, and fully leverage the benefits of diagnostics for patients, health systems, and society.
Unlike therapeutics, for which direct clinical effects can often be straightforwardly demonstrated, diagnostics provide information that indirectly influences patient management as well as the economic efficiency of healthcare systems. It is often more difficult to generate evidence to demonstrate the full potential of diagnostic information, as compared to generating such evidence for therapeutics progesteron brist
, and may require a different approach. We introduce the value of diagnostic information (VODI), which goes beyond conventional cost-effectiveness metrics by including the “value of knowing” as well as quality of life improvements arising from this knowledge gain. Diagnostic information is valued across multiple dimensions with each dimension being weighted differently by different stakeholders. This might explain why diagnostics are generally considered only in the context of a specific treatment or circumstance, while the broader VODI is frequently overlooked.