My thoughts on the R-HTA workshops

Last Friday on Monday, we held our online R-HTA workshop. We will discuss the feedback and agree on ways forward in the consortium Scientific Committee soon, but I thought I’d write down some personal reactions to the very interesting discussions — of course, what come out of all this eventually may well be very different to my synthesis! Still… I thought the two days went very well — I have enjoyed them very much and I think so did the participants.

Books and code

This comes as the results of two external forces that have prompted me to do some work on the website — specifically the section on books. The first one is the newest version of hugo-academic (which is the engine underlying the whole of my website, together with the R package blogdown). This has a new facility that can be used to format books or tutorial or documentation. Trouble is that it assumes that you’re writing a book and so if you have a folder named “book” it automatically use that new format for the pages in that folder.


This is quite exciting: since Nathan (this is his very interesting blog) has arrived to UCL a couple of months ago, we’ve started to work on quite a few of very interesting projects — including a major “refactoring” of the code for BCEA. I’m obviously very attached to BCEA — it’s basically my first R package and one I’ve spent lots of time thinking about and then working on. And I think it’s usually very helpful to practitioners and I always push people around to try and get them to use it.

missingHE update

Andrea has just released a major update for missingHE (this is my own fork of the main project — but now available on CRAN too), the package we (well, mostly he!) have (has) developed to handle missing data in Bayesian models for cost-effectiveness analysis. Additions to the basic structure of the package include multilevel models and new plotting facilities, revolving around posterior predictive checks, which are of course very helpful when assessing the performance of models with missing data.

Expert opinion (again)

THis is the second video I was mentioning here — took a while to get out but it’s available now. I think you need to register here and then you can see our panel discussion. Like I said earlier, it was good fun and I think the actual session we did at ISPOR last year was, I think, very well received and it’s a shame that we can’t build on the momentum in the next R-HTA (which, I think, we’re going to have to postpone, given the COVID-19 emergency…).

R for trial and model-based cost-effectiveness analysis

29-30 June 2020, University College London Training event (29 June): Torrington (1-19) 113 - Public Cluster, 1-19 in Torrington Place (https://goo.gl/maps/RtR3Ypug2Dq), University College London, United Kingdom Main workshop (30 June): Room G12, 1-19 in Torrington Place (https://goo.gl/maps/RtR3Ypug2Dq), University College London, United Kingdom. Background and objectives It is our pleasure to announce a workshop and training event on the use of R for trial and model-based cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA).

Job @ Oxford

Boby Mihaylova has two exciting posts available at the Health Economics Research Centre at the University of Oxford. In particular, she is looking for two R-minded researchers/analysts to develop work on disease modelling/cost-effectiveness using large individual-patients databases. In fact, I think it’s really good that they are explicitly including knowledge of R as part of the job specification — and they even ask R code as part of the application!).

Make R Great Again

Our editorial on using R in HTA (I talked about it here) has finally been published in Value in Health. This is nice in the (rather long, I know…) build up to our workshop. And speaking of, we’ve already received quite a few abstracts for contributed talks — this below is the “official” advert we’ve circulated. This is a reminder that the deadline for abstract submission to the Workshop on R for trial and model-based cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) is 15th May.

Challenge accepted

As part of our R for HTA workshop, we have also prepared a kind-of-hackathon, which we are now releasing to the general public (I think “general public” is a bit pretentious, but this afternoon, I’m in the right mood for it, I think…). Participation is actually open to all (and we’ll advertise more widely on relevant mailing lists) but we expect contributions particularly from anyone attending the workshop, which will be held at UCL on 9th July.

Changes in BCEA

I’ve just updated the GitHub’s version of BCEA. Andrea has done, as usual, some very nice work – this time he’s mainly focussed on the graphical engine underlying the graphs produced by BCEA to post-process the outcome of the economic model. The main changes are the following: Added plot rendering via plotly (using the command graph=“plotly”) to each of the functions: ceplane.plot eib.