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Wild, C. and Langer, T. (2006): Horizon Scanning System (HSS). An Overview. HTA-Projektbericht 02.

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Objective: Within EUnetHTA, it is the task of WP 7 (Strand B) to develop a European-wide newsletter on emerging technologies. This review aims at supporting the newsletter development with transparent criteria for the selection
of new technologies that will be reported on.

Method: The report is based on a literature review, on unpublished information gathered from the relevant agencies (Horizon Scanning Systems/HSS) and on personal e-mail contacts with staff members.

Results: As a first step towards a broader understanding, EuroScan agreed on a common terminology, classification and understanding of their activities. Definitions refer to the object and components of HSS. The harmonization of the criteria to select and prioritize new technologies is another activity of international co-operations. Definitions of subject: HSS is concerned with new or emerging technologies,
but also established technologies with new indications or technologies that are part of a group of developing technologies that may as a whole have an impact. A new technology is one that is in the phase of adoption, has only been available for clinical use for a short time and is generally in the launch or early post marketing stages. In contrast an emerging technology is defined as ‘not yet adopted to the health care system’. In the case of pharmaceuticals it will be in phase II or phase III clinical trials or pre-launch. Medical devices
will be prior to marketing or within 6 months of marketing or marketed but <10 % diffused or localised to a few centres. The time horizon is 0-5 years before introduction.

Function: The fundamental function of HSS is to support policy makers by providing them with timely information on new health technologies and possible consequences for the healthcare system. Their need to control the adoption and diffusion of new technologies in health care by pushing or slowing down the speed of diffusion process is the objective of HSS.

Dissemination: The impact of HSS is determined by reaching the target audience and decision-makers that influence regulation or introduction of the
relevant technologies. Close links to the system and knowledge of the policystructure are prerequisites for dissemination and effective implementation. Monitoring the assessed technologies and updating the reports with new information is the final component in the HSS cycle.

Conclusion: The established Horizon scanning systems are similar in that they go through the same processes, but they differ in terms of size, resources, operational level, mandate, customers, and organisational embedding and therefore there are some differences in methodology of identification, filtration and prioritisation, assessment, dissemination and monitoring. The most
obvious difference is that they serve different target groups and therefore prioritise
and select different technologies. Additional the weight that is given to expert suggestions and the use of implicit or explicit measures for identification and selection of technologies are characteristics of the different HSS.

Item Type:Project Report
Additional Information:Reviewed by: Carla Douw
Keywords:Emerging technologies, alert-systems, early warning systems, EuroScan
Subjects:Y Other
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Series Name:HTA-Projektbericht
Deposited on:28 Nov 2007 09:46
Last Modified:15 Jul 2020 17:33

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