NICE medical technologies guidance addresses specific technologies notified to NICE by companies. The 'case for adoption' is based on the claimed advantages of introducing the specific technology compared with current management of the condition. This case is reviewed against the evidence submitted and expert advice. If the case for adopting the technology is supported, then the technology has been found to offer advantages to patients and the NHS. The specific recommendations on individual technologies are not intended to limit use of other relevant technologies which may offer similar advantages.
1.1 The case for adopting Virtual Touch Quantification (VTq) software to diagnose and monitor liver fibrosis is supported by the evidence. VTq is as accurate as transient elastography in diagnosing and staging liver fibrosis, and may offer other benefits in terms of imaging the liver and sampling selected areas to assess fibrosis and identify associated pathologies. By avoiding liver biopsies, it may also benefit people whose liver fibrosis needs monitoring. Cost savings through adopting VTq will be greater in hospitals in which liver biopsy is the primary method for diagnosing and monitoring liver fibrosis.
1.2 VTq should be considered as an option for people with chronic hepatitis B or C who need assessment of liver fibrosis.
1.3 Cost modelling suggests that using VTq is cost saving compared with transient elastography and liver biopsy, whether or not a compatible Siemens ultrasound machine needs to be purchased. Compared with transient elastography, the estimated overall cost saving for VTq is around £53 per person. This saving assumes that 10% of the ultrasound machine capacity would be used for VTq measurements, leaving 90% to be applied to other uses. Compared with liver biopsy, the corresponding saving is around £434 per person.