Our Research Themes

Genomics and precision medicine are being increasingly integrated into clinical practice. These technologies may lead to better diagnostic accuracy, earlier referral to appropriate treatment interventions and a better treatment response based on targeted use of drugs and other interventions. However, new generations of sequencing technologies are costly and can produce additional findings that result in further downstream healthcare costs. It is not yet clear whether such technologies are cost-effective or where they should be positioned in a diagnostic pathway to maximize value for money. TASK force members are working to generate evidence regarding economic value, including social and ethical considerations to inform implementation.

Costs and cost-effectiveness of whole genome sequencing in paediatric cardiac conditions

  • Prospective study led by Drs. Wendy Ungar and Robin Hayeems on clinical utility and cost-effectiveness of whole genome sequencing for children with cardiomyopathy. In progress.
  • Jegathisawaran J, Tsiplova K, Hayeems R, Ungar WJ. Microcosting of whole genome sequencing (WGS) of trios in a heterogeneous pediatric cardiac population. Task Report No. 2020-01. 2020. Highlights, Executive Summary, Full Report.

Costs and cost-effectiveness of alternative genome-based diagnostic strategies in pediatric neurodevelopmental disorders and rare diseases


The clinical and personal utility of genomic testing

Cascade genetic testing

Genome sequencing policy research

A cost-effectiveness analysis of maternal genotyping to guide treatment for postpartum pain and avert infant adverse events

Cost-effectiveness analysis of thiopurine methyltransferase genotype testing


Children with neurodevelopment disorders (NDDs) and their families face life-long challenges and require extensive ongoing educational, health and social service support. The severity and high prevalence of NDDs place a high economic burden on parents and public service systems. It is crucial to understand which programs, treatments and services provide the best value for money. The TASK team is involved in a number of projects in the area of paediatric NDDs, collecting cost data and evaluating cost-effectiveness of existing and novel interventions.

Health Economics Evaluation Platform within CHILD-BRIGHT

PACE (Parent And Child Early) Coaching Project

Cost-effectiveness and value of alternative clinical screening and assessment approaches in autism spectrum disorder   

The Pathways in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) cohort study

The Pre-School Autism Treatment Impact (PATI) Study: A population-based comparative effectiveness, cost and policy study of intervention models for preschoolers with autistic spectrum disorders

Other projects

Health technology assessment (HTA) provides evidence for informed decision making in health policy. As part of its HTA activities, TASK informs policies in child health. TASK also conducts research specifically in the area of public health and pharmaceutical policy. For example, the TASK team has examined gaps in prescription drug coverage for paediatric drugs and is examining the value of pharmacogenomics testing.

TASK’s projects in health economic methods include patient preferences research; development and assessment of instruments to measure resource use, costs or quality of life; reviews of economic evaluation methods; and the use and applicability of the PEDE database and other economic evaluation databases for decision-making.

Caregiver and spillover effects

Health economic methods

Instrument and tool development

Quality of life and utility research

Preferences and preference elicitation techniques

Systematic reviews

Trends in evidence

TASK performs systematic reviews, cost-effectiveness analyses and methods research in the area of respiratory conditions, including asthma and bronchiolitis.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis research conducted at TASK includes assessing patient preferences for drug treatment and cost effectiveness of biologic response modifiers.

TASK conducts cost-effectiveness analysis of paediatric health interventions and devices in the fields of infectious disease, appendicitis, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, oncology and surgical interventions.

Infectious diseases


Fetal disorders


Gastrointestinal disease

TASK conducts research on cost-effectiveness and quality of life in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease including Crohn’s disease, and gastroenterology.

Surgical interventions