Leeds Health Economics researchers win top prizes at MEMTAB 2020 Virtual Symposium

Alison Smith and Paola Cocco have won the two top prizes at the Methods for Evaluating Tests and Biomarkers (MEMTAB) conference held in early December.

MEMTAB is an international conference which attracts researchers, healthcare workers, policy makers and manufacturers involved in the development, evaluation and regulations of tests and biomarkers.

Paola won the Douglas Altman award for best presentation for her work on the use of Target Product Profiles (TPPs) for new tests (Paola’s presentation can be watched here). In her presentation, Paola summarised the findings of her systematic review on current methods for developing TPPs for innovative tests.   

She discusses which test specifications are usually included in TPPs, how test characteristics requirements are derived and agreed upon and which stakeholders group are usually involved in the TPP development process. This talk is part of Paola’s ongoing PhD project on developing TPPs for new diagnostics using early economic evaluation methods.

Alison won the best poster award for her work on assessing the impact of test measurement uncertainty on clinical and cost outcomes (Alison's poster presentation can be viewed here). In her talk, Alison discusses the topic of test measurement uncertainty, which affects all clinical tests, and summarises the key approaches which may be taken to assessing the impact of test measurement uncertainty in the laboratory on downstream clinical and health-economic outcomes. This work relates to Alison's recently completed NIHR Doctoral Fellowship.

The MEMTAB2020 symposium was hosted by Professor Ben Van Calster, Professor Ann Van den Bruel, Professor Jan Verbakel and the University of Leuven's EPI-Centre, part of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care.

The aim of the conference was to help improve current understanding through knowledge exchange, and the forging of academics’ diverse experiences and perspectives to delineate the future direction of diagnostic test research.

In this respect, it is the only conference in the world that provides a platform dedicated to the investigation of medical tests, markers, models and other devices used for diagnosis prognosis and monitoring.