HTA in brief

The development of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) goes back to the late 1970s, when political decision makers voiced demand for well-founded, comprehensive information about health technologies, possible courses of action and their consequences.

Although there is no universal (international) definition of HTA it is generally recognised that the scientific evaluation of health technologies for the purpose of political consultancy is a central aspect of HTA . An exemplary overview of existing definitions is provided on the sub-site „Definitions“.

When conducting an HTA, the respective health technology is objectively assessed in a transparent and systematic process, based on the best available evidence. Thereby the specific context in which the health technology will be applied is taken into account. 

In many cases, a multidisciplinary approach is regarded as an essential aspect of HTA. Depending on the topic and scope of the HTA report, evidence regarding effectivenesssafety and economic efficiency as well as ethical, legal and organisational impacts are evaluated.

What is common to all definitions is that HTA goes beyond assessing the mere effectiveness of a health technology. HTAs are used in different areas of application, described on the sub-site “Application Areas”.