From Analog to Digital and Beyond: The 25-Year Evolution of the Hayes Medical Technology Directory

Posted by Winifred S. Hayes, RN, PhD, ANP, Founder and CEO on October 25, 2016

25YearAnniversary_625.jpgOn October 9, 1991, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Videx (didanosine) as part of a treatment for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The year before, I began working with two small insurance companies to examine the existing evidence for the treatment of HIV and AIDS, in order to provide them with unbiased information to make evidence-based coverage determinations. Additional healthcare technologies emerged, such as positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, high-dose chemotherapy, and bone marrow transplantation, requiring unbiased analysis of the research into their respective effectiveness. Based on the success of these efforts, it became apparent that there was enough interest in an evidence-based approach to coverage determinations to develop a subscription- and service-based resource for the payer environment. However, to be done correctly, it had to be on a large scale, with multiple clients and an exhaustive exploration of the research. Thus, the Hayes Medical Technology Directory was born.


The Medical Technology Directory saw many iterations. At the time of inception, there were no online resources of delivery, no email attachments or means of access of information through the web. Quick transmission of documents occurred through faxing and overnight deliveries. The first Hayes Medical Technology Directory was shipped to subscribers in two large three-ring binders, filled to capacity with 200 reports. Every quarter, we published new, as well as replaced and updated our reports. Can you imagine managing that volume of printed material? Our means of delivery needed to improve.


At a time when vinyl records gave way to compact discs, so went the Directory. The year 1997 saw the conversion of the Directory from paper to CD-ROM, and we went entirely digital by 2000. As the mediums evolved, so did the Directory. Our early audience was largely nonclinical, but as the readers diversified, so did the content, and the nature of the reports evolved to reflect the need for increased scientific rigor you see in our reports today. Services for our clients were added, including: Clinical Research Response, a customized report that answers specific questions asked by Health System clients; and the Search & Summary function, which provides subscribers with non-analytical reports generated in response to requests for specific information not already addressed in Hayes reports.

To address newly emerging technologies, the Directory expanded to include the Health Technology Brief, assessments focused on technologies that are in the early stages of distribution, or on existing technologies that are being used for new applications with a limited volume of peer-reviewed, published evidence.

As the field of genetic testing began to grow in scope, so did the need for rigorous examination of the evidence associated with its effectiveness and necessity. Due to rapid expansion of the volume of commercially available tests (now approximately 65,000), it became necessary for us to create a product separate from the Directory. We launched the Genetic Test Evaluation (GTE) product in 2007, a collection of comprehensive health technology assessments of genetic tests providing objective views of the science, the clinical evidence, the testing laboratories involved, clinical applications, appropriate patient selection criteria, and the likelihood of reimbursement for each type of test.


The payer and provider landscape has changed dramatically in 25 years. Some names have changed and some companies are gone. But our flagship product has endured, with client loyalty that goes back as far as the Medical Technology Directory’s inception, with a retention rate of up to 97%. The proprietary Hayes Rating is now embedded in some insurance company documents and is considered to be the industry standard for coverage determination in the payer environment. For providers, the Rating will become a critical element as value-based care becomes the standard.

This is all because as the need for independent evidence-based reporting evolved, so has the Directory. To meet client needs, we’ve developed Comparative Effectiveness Reviews to provide analyses of competing technologies within the same technology class. We also provide a Review of Reviews, reports on broad-based topics that utilize existing high-quality systematic reviews and are accompanied by the Hayes Rating. The Google Search Appliance now in our Knowledge Center allows for more efficient and accurate searches.

We are constantly evaluating our methodology to increase our efficiency and provide you with a better product that remains fiercely unbiased. Experience our evolution for yourself.

Click here to view a sample of our Directory reports and to fill out a form to request a full report.

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