Description and technical characteristics of the technology

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This domain describes the technology (or a sequence of technologies) and its technical characteristics, i.e. when was it developed and introduced, for what purpose(s), who will use the technology, in what manner, for what condition(s), and at what level of health care. The material requirements for premises, equipment and staff are described, as well as any specific training and information requirements. The regulatory status of the technology should be described, where applicable. This domain is related to all other domains. (1) 

Sources to search

  • Review articles and textbooks can be helpful for finding information about the history and characteristics of established technology.
  • Health sciences databases (e.g. MEDLINE, Embase, The Cochrane Library, CRD databases, Cinahl, BIOSIS, PsycInfo)
  • Social sciences databases (e.g. Sociological Abstracts, Social Care Online, ASSIA)
  • General science publishers' databases (e.g. ScienceDirect, Ebsco Academic Search Elite, PubMed Central, BioMed Central)
  • Other databases (e.g. ERIC, Joanna Briggs Institute, WHO, OECD)
  • Ongoing research databases (e.g., EunetHTA POP Database, Prospero)
  • Horizon scanning databases (e.g. Euroscan)
  • Grey literature (e.g. OAIster, Dissertation Abstracts)
  • Registers and statistics (e.g. disease registers, national screening registers, pharmaceutical registers, routinely collected statistics and administrative data)
  • Websites (e.g. patient associations, manufacturers, regulatory institutions)
  • Other sources (e.g. market research reports, industry, expert opinions, national and regional guidelines, norms and regulations, handsearching) 

Designing search strategies

Gathering descriptive information does not necessarily imply a systematic literature search. However, for the transparency of HTA the approaches and sources of information should be documented. (2,3)

If, however, a systematic literature search is performed, the basic principles of systematic review methodology should be followed (2,3).

Reference list