The Institute was established in 1997 (originally known as the Decision Analysis and Technology Assessment (
The ITA includes individuals with training and expertise in the core disciplines of biostatistics, epidemiology, economics, decision science, health-related quality of life measurement, outcomes analysis, and health care policy. A unique focus of the ITA is on the evaluation of technologies during the early stages of development, from discovery to preliminary clinical testing, when extensive data regarding clinical effectiveness may not yet be available. In these instances, computer models are utilized in order to simulate expected outcomes, and thereby predict costs, effectiveness, and overall impact on the healthcare system. However, the ITA also evaluates programs as they move into clinical practice, building and utilizing robust condition-specific patient databases that facilitate comprehensive analysis of clinical effectiveness.
The formation of the Institute acknowledges the increased breadth of research activities and the active involvement of investigators from a wide group of disciplines. From a historical and content perspective, the departmental home has been and remains in Radiology. However, the Institute is now recognized as an institutional program, and has important connections to many departments and programs throughout the Massachusetts General Hospital.