Interview with Lars-Åke Levin - Linköping University (LIU)
Professor of Health Economics - Linköping University (LIU)
What is your role in the project?
I am leading the work package of WP4, linked to Health economics and cost-benefit analyses.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am professor of health economics at Linköping University Linköping Sweden and Di-rector for Center for Medical Technology Assessment (CMT) at the Faculty of Medi-cine. I am basically an economist who published my first article in cardiology in 1986. My research interests include health technology assessment, outcome research, eq-uity, market access and reimbursement systems.
Could you tell us more about your organization?
The Centre for Medical Technology Assessment (CMT) is a research organisation with the aim of conducting method development, disseminating research findings, and assessing methods and procedures within healthcare with respect to medical, social, economical and ethical consequences.
What has been the most successful part of your work in AFFECT-EU?
For me, the most successful part of AFFECT-EU is networking among all the world-leading researchers who are part of the project. It gives me the opportunity to study similarities and differences, opportunities, and difficulties in implementing AF screening in different healthcare systems
What are the main challenges in your work in AFFECT-EU?
The main methodological challenge is to harmonize the health economic simulation model that calculates the cost-effectiveness of AF screening, so that it is useful in all the different countries that we evaluate. Another difficulty is the delays in data availability due to difficulties in interpreting legislation.
What are some of the questions that researchers in your field should be asking?
The most obvious question to ask is whether AF screening is cost-effective. I think we already know enough to establish that this is the case. The follow-up questions are relatively given: Are there subgroups in the population that are particularly important to screen. How should an optimal screening program be designed regarding at what ages and how often, targeted screening, population or opportunistic screening?
What else would you like to share with the reader?
One thing that clinicians and decision-makers often forget when interpreting a health economic analysis is that, in addition to estimating cost-effectiveness, it synthesizes the evidence and, in our case, evaluates and summarizes the long-term health effects of AF screening using mathematical models. Or in other words assess the value of AF screening.