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Table 1 Types of economic evaluation for mHealth

From: Defining a staged-based process for economic and financial evaluations of mHealth programs

  Definition Costs Consequences Primary audience
Economic evaluations
 Cost effectiveness analysis Comparison of two alternatives where consequences of the programme are measured in natural units Monetary units Natural units (life years gained, lives saved, cases detected) Decision-takers within a speciality
 Cost utility analyses Form of CEA where consequence is measure in terms of healthy years Monetary units Summary measure of population health: QALYs or DALYs Health sector government NGO Decision takers across sectors
 Cost benefit analysisa Comparison of two alternatives where consequences of the programme are measured in monetary terms. Monetary units Monetary units Decision takers across sectors
 Extended cost effectiveness analysis Form of CEA which assesses both the financial risk protection (catastrophic health costs averted, cases of poverty averted, money-metric value of insurance) and the equitable distribution of costs and health gains across population sub-groups and to policy makers Monetary units Health gains garnered across population sub-groups; may also use a summary measure of population health (QALYs or DALYs) Health sector government NGO Decision takers across sectors
 Cost consequence analysis Form of CBA which examines costs and consequences but does not aggregate consequences into a single measure Monetary units Natural units Decision takers across sectors
 Cost minimization analysis Compares relative costs of interventions with effects that are assumed to be equivalent Monetary units Assumed to be equivalent Decision-takers within a speciality
Partial evaluations
 Costing analysis Comparison of the costs of two or more programs Monetary units Not applicable Decision-takers within a speciality
 Cost description analysis Describes the costs of a single program Monetary units Not applicable Decision-takers within a speciality
 Cost outcome description analysis Describes the costs and consequences of a single program Monetary units Natural units (life years gained, lives saved, cases detected) Decision-takers within a speciality
Financial evaluations
 Financial forecast model Estimates the financial and accounting profile of the capital and operational cash flow and income and expenditure of a project option over its whole life-cycle for comparison with budgets and financial plans to seek affordability Monetary units Not applicable Reimbursement authorities
 Budget impact analysis Estimates the financial consequences of an intervention and its diffusion within a specific health-care setting or system context given resource constraints Monetary units Number of beneficiaries or affected individuals Reimbursement authorities
 OneHealth National strategic health planning tool which provides analysts with a single framework which includes scenario analysis, costing, health impact analysis, budgeting and financing of strategies for all major diseases and health system components. Outputs facilitate (1) the identification of resource needs to implement a strategic health plan; (2) the determination of costs for the strategic plan by year and input; and (3) estimates of health impact [49] Monetary units Natural units (lives saved) National planners
  1. aOne type of CBA conducted for regulations instead of interventions is called “regulatory impact analysis” which can influence how networks are regulated. Applications of this may be appropriate for eHealth, particularly to inform decision making on how best to develop regulations on the interoperability of health information infrastructures and data protection [56]