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This one day course aims to explain how cost-effectiveness analysis of diagnostic tests is conducted and used in the research, development and evaluation of diagnostics. It is aimed at those involved in the development and evaluation of diagnostics, in both academic and commercial settings.


Participants should have a basic understanding of measures of diagnostic accuracy and clinical effectiveness, as well as basic descriptive statistics (means, ranges). Previous knowledge of cost-effectiveness concepts would be an advantage, but these are not necessary as they will be revised in the first session. For the practical session, participants will need a laptop with Microsoft Excel installed.

By taking this course

Participants will revise the core concepts underlying cost-effectiveness analysis, including incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. They will learn how diagnostic tests can be evaluated using cost-effectiveness methods, and will get practical experience of working with a pre-built decision model and performing sensitivity analysis to understand how cost-effective a diagnostic would be in different settings. They will also learn about the diagnostic evaluation evidence requirements used by NICE, and consider contemporary issues related to cost-effectiveness analysis of diagnostics.

Course content

  1. Introduction to cost-effectiveness for diagnostics
  • Evaluating the cost-consequences of testing
  • Quality-adjusted life years
  • Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios
  • Linking test results to outcomes
  • Introduction to decision models

 2.    Generating and using cost-effectiveness evidence for diagnostics

  • Identifying which evidence is needed
  • Revising evidence sources
  • Selecting parameters
  • Model assumptions

 3.    Evidence for implementation in routine clinical practice – NICE evaluations

 4.      Practical: Identifying evidence, decision modelling, and evaluating determinants of cost-effectiveness

  • Search strategies
  • Performing deterministic sensitivity analysis
  • Identifying threshold values in early evaluations

 5.    Outstanding issues in cost-effectiveness of diagnostics: AMR, diagnostic delay and going beyond the QALY.

Supported by:


Forthcoming events

Diagnostic Evidence Workshops 2022

Wednesday, 22 June 2022 to Friday, 24 June 2022, 10am - 4pm @ St Hugh's College Oxford, St Margaret's Road, Oxford, OX2 6LE

A three-day workshop aimed at clinicians, researchers, the diagnostics industry, and those working in guideline development and regulatory affairs.