Objectives: Selecting technologies for formal assessment poses a great challenge to health technology assessment agencies. This study aims to contribute to the creation of a reference framework for the identification, filtering, and prioritization of new and emerging technologies which could be demanded in clinical practice within the next 1–2 years.
Methods: Technologies were identified using a prevalidated systematic Medline strategy. They were classified by medical specialty and then sent to selected professionals belonging to the medical units or areas responsible for their application, until there was a minimum of three participants per health care setting. A self-administered questionnaire was drawn up and health professionals were asked to: (1) assess the degree of innovation of the technologies, and (11) score their foreseeable clinical impact on the basis of predefined prioritization criteria (n = 4). Intra-rater reliability was analyzed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).
Results: The Medline search yielded 246 potentially relevant technologies. When analyzed by health care area or unit, sixty-eight were deemed to be high-impact innovative technologies (median score >6), with ICCs ranging from 0.03 to 0.83. The final list resulting from the aggregate analysis comprised fifty-one technologies.
Conclusions: This study constitutes an innovative contribution to horizon scanning, providing a systematic and reproducible basis for the identification and selection of relevant new and emerging technologies based on the views and values of health professionals involved in their use. In our opinion, the current proposal could be helpful and useful to many other organizations worldwide, serving to complement already existing strategies.