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Health Technology Update — Issue 15

Published on: June 4, 2013
Issue: 15
Result type: Report

Scanning the Horizon

Informing Decision-Makers About Emerging Medical Technologies

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information about various sources of publicly accessible horizon scanning information on new and emerging health technologies. The newsletter consolidates a selection of horizon scanning information sources, to help make customers of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) aware of available new and emerging health technology information.

What is Horizon Scanning?

The early identification and monitoring of new and emerging health technologies, an activity that has been referred to by various synonymous names internationally (e.g., early awareness and alert systems, early warning, emerging technology assessment, horizon scanning)1 focuses on identifying new and emerging health technologies that are likely to have a significant impact on health services and/or patient health. Early awareness of such technologies can support effective planning for their introduction into the health care system.

EuroScan International Network, the International Information Network on New and Emerging Health Technologies, defines new and emerging health technologies as:

“New

  • a technology in the phase of adoption that has only been available for clinical use for a short time and is generally in the launch or early post-marketing stages

Emerging

  • a technology that is not yet adopted by the health care system; pharmaceuticals will usually be in phase II or phase III clinical trials or perhaps pre-launch; medical devices will be prior to marketing, 
  • or within 6 months of marketing, or marketed but <10% diffused or localized to a few centres, 
  • or represent a change in indication or use of an existing technology, or are part of a group of developing technologies that, as a whole, may have an impact.”2

As well as helping to identify technologies for which preparation of a health technology assessment (HTA) may be useful, timely identification of new and emerging technologies may also help inform health care policy-makers, health care professionals, as well as patients interested in monitoring developments in particular categories of health technologies or clinical disease states.

Because health technologies can be developed and/ or marketed in other countries before being approved in Canada, scanning international as well as Canadian-based health technology pipeline information sources may be useful.

Examples of New and Emerging Health Technology Information Sources

The following descriptions are of online information sources for new and emerging health technologies that provide publicly accessible information, free of charge. The selected sources provide descriptions about new and emerging health technologies at least annually, and most publish information more frequently. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list, but a selection of sources that the reader may find useful for scanning new and emerging technologies.

1.   The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH)

CADTH scans the horizon for new and emerging pharmaceuticals (including biologics, blood products, vaccines; prescription and non-prescription); diagnostics; and medical, dental and surgical devices and procedures in order to help identify topics for its horizon scanning publications, as well as potential HTAs. In addition, CADTH is a member of, and provides secretariat support to, the Canadian Network for Environmental Scanning in Health (CNESH). CNESH is a network of Canadian organizations/ individuals that are interested/involved in identifying new, emerging, or new applications of health technologies with a mandate to share this information across Canada, as well as develop and promote horizon scanning methodologies. CADTH is also a founding member of EuroScan (see information source number 7 below).

Issues in Emerging Health Technologies are CADTH-produced horizon scanning bulletins describing drug and non-drug technologies that are not yet used or widely diffused in Canada; in most cases, Health Canada approval is anticipated in the next 6 to 18 months. Each bulletin includes a description of an emerging technology, patient indications, regulatory status, adverse effects, costs, anticipated diffusion rates, implementation issues, and a discussion of the reliability and quality of available evidence. While the bulletin analyzes all available data, the evidence base is generally insufficient to permit a meta-analysis of individual trials or other statistical analyses. Each bulletin is peer-reviewed by at least one external clinical expert and is also posted on CADTH’s website for stakeholder feedback. These bulletins can be found on CADTH’s website at the following link:

http://www.cadth.ca/en/products/environmental-scanning?&type=14

To receive monthly updates on new CADTH products and services, individuals can subscribe to CADTH’s electronic mailing list by using the following link: http://www.cadth.ca/en/subscribe

2. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Horizon Scanning System Status Update Reports and Potential High Impact Reports

Taking into account the unique United States health care characteristics, the AHRQ Healthcare Horizon Scanning System conducts horizon scanning for emerging health care technologies and innovations to inform patient-centred outcomes research investments at AHRQ. This inventory also serves as a tool to provide the public as well as investigators or research funders with a means to identify and find information on new health care technologies and interventions. The scanning focuses on technologies that are in early stages of development or adoption as well as new indications for already-diffused technologies. Drugs, biologics, medical devices, screening and diagnostic tests, procedures, services and programs, as well as care delivery-based innovations are of interest. A systematic process is used to identify and monitor these target health care technologies and innovations, and to create an inventory of technologies with the highest potential for impact on clinical care, the health care system, patient outcomes, and costs. Revised every two months, the Horizon Scan Status Update reports identify topics being tracked, topics identified but not currently tracked, as well as topics archived during the previous two months.3,4

The most recent Horizon Scan Status Update report is available at:

http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?productid=880&pageactio n=displayproduct&mp=1.

In addition, AHRQ produces Potential High Impact Reports that are revised and updated every six months. These reports focus on one of AHRQ’s 14 designated “priority conditions,” and provide more detailed individual topic profiles that focus on identified interventions or technologies that are approaching diffusion into practice.4

The most recent Potential High Impact Reports can be found at: http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?pageaction=displayproduct&p roductID=1063.

3. 2012 Pipeline Report: HIV, Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), and Tuberculosis (TB) Drugs, Diagnostics, Vaccines and Preventive Technologies in Development

A joint publication by the London-based HIV treatment activist organization, HIV i-Base (www.i-base.info) and The Treatment Action Group (TAG) (www.treatmentactiongroup.org) — an independent AIDS research and policy think tank fighting for better treatment, a vaccine, and a cure for AIDS — this report provides an overview of promising diagnostics as well as prevention and treatment technologies for HIV, HCV, and TB.

The 2012 report, along with any updates since that report, are available at: http://www.pipelinereport.org/home.

4. Walgreens Pipeline Reports

Walgreens’ quarterly pipeline reports highlight a selection of recent US-approved and soon-to-be-approved drugs that may have significant impact for specific disease states. In addition, they provide information on selected medications currently in phase III studies that may be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the next few years, and that may impact the management of selected specialty disease states or conditions.5

The most recent report (second quarter 2013) can be downloaded from: http://healthcare.walgreens.com/ healthcare/business/Resource.jsp?id=Clinical_Data. 

5. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s (PhRMA) Medicines in Development Reports

PhRMA, the US national organization representing pharmaceutical industry research and biotechnology companies, produces pipeline reports, Medicines in Development, for a number of selected diseases states, conditions, and/or patient groups.

The three most recent (2013) reports published were on drugs in development for leukemia and lymphoma, biologics in development, and drugs in development to treat older patients. In 2012, reports were published on the following nine topics: Alzheimer disease, asthma, cancer, children, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, mental illness, and vaccines.6

To locate featured current and previous reports, classified by the disease state, condition, or patient group, please see: http://www.phrma.org/innovation/meds-in-development.

 6. The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Horizon Scanning Centre’s Outputs by Specialty

The United Kingdom (UK)-based NIHR Horizon Scanning Centre “aims to supply timely information to key policy and decision-makers within the [UK National Healthcare System] NHS about emerging health technologies that may have a significant impact on patients or the provision of health services in the near future.”7 Technologies of interest to this program are: pharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment, diagnostic tests and procedures, therapeutic interventions, rehabilitation and therapy, and public health activities. Prophylactic vaccines, new screening programs, and new food products with health benefit claims are excluded.7

Information is disseminated primarily through technology briefings and news briefs. Research program-based papers on horizon scanning methodologies and health technology diffusion are also produced. The output category of “Other Reports” captures technology and disease-specific reviews that have been published.8

The following link provides access to the various products of the NIHR Horizon Scanning Centre, categorized by patient group or specialty: http://www.hsc.nihr.ac.uk/ outputs/specialties/. 

7. The International Information Network on New and Emerging Health Technologies (EuroScan International Network) Database

As a global collaborative network of health technology agencies, which includes CADTH, EuroScan collects and shares information on innovative emerging health care technologies that include new drugs, devices, procedures, programs, and health care settings.9 Member agencies contribute information about health technology-related reports published either on their own websites or in HTA-relevant publications to the publicly accessible EuroScan database. Database entries may also include presentations made at various HTA forums. This information is useful for supporting decision-makers in adopting new and emerging technologies.10

The EuroScan database can be accessed using the following link: http://euroscan.org.uk/technologies/ public/search?advance-search=on#.

Quick access to recently added health technology information is listed on the homepage of EuroScan’s website: http://euroscan.org.uk/.

8. Pharmacy Practice Journal, Annual Update on Drugs in Late Stage Development

The Canadian Healthcare Network website (www.canadianhealthcarenetwork.ca) houses the online version of the Pharmacy Practice journal. The December/January annual issue of this journal used to publish the results of an annual survey of Canadian drug manufacturers for investigational drugs in the late stages of development; however, starting in 2013 and going forward, this article will be included in the February/March issue of the journal annually. A tabulation including the following information is used to summarize the promising drugs in development: manufacturer, non-proprietary name, brand name (if available) and therapeutic use or classification. Health professionals including physicians, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and health care managers, can sign up for free access to the electronic version of the Pharmacy Practice journal through the Canadian Healthcare Network’s website. 

9. The Oxford Centre for Monitoring and Diagnosis in Primary Care (MaDOx) Horizon Scanning Reports

MaDOx, a research organization funded by NIHR, is based in the UK’s University of Oxford Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.11 This organization performs horizon scanning for new and emerging diagnostic technologies (including biochemical point-of-care tests, electronic diagnostic equipment, and clinical prediction rules) with relevance to primary care. Expert-reviewed horizon scanning reports are prepared on selected identified technologies that may have a significant impact on primary health care.12

The horizon scanning reports are available at: http://madox.org/horizon-scanning-report

Table 1: Summary of Selected Health Technology Horizon Scanning Information Sources

Organization /

Product Name

Information Provided and Technology Categories

When Information is Published or Updated

Website Information

Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH)

Bulletins on new and emerging heath technologies

 

Categories: Pharmaceuticals (including biologics, blood products, vaccines; prescription and non-prescription), diagnostics, and medical, dental and surgical devices and procedures

Published on an ongoing basis

To subscribe to monthly electronic updates on new CADTH products and services:

http://www.cadth.ca/en/subscribe

 

Issues in Emerging Health Technologies Bulletins: http://www.cadth.ca/en/ products/environmental-scanning?&type=14

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Horizon scanning for health technologies in the early stages of development or adoption, as well as new indications for already-diffused technologies

 

Categories: Drugs, biologics, medical devices, screening and diagnostic tests, procedures, services and programs, and care delivery-based innovations

Status Update Reports: revised every two months

Potential High Impact Reports: revised every six months

Status Update Reports: http://effectivehealthcare. ahrq.gov/index.cfm/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?productid=880&page action=displayproduct&mp=1

 

Potential High Impact Reports:

http://effectivehealthcare. ahrq.gov/index.cfm/search-for-guides-reviews-and-report s/?pageaction=displayproduct &productid=1063

Joint product by HIV i-Base and the Treatment Action Group (TAG) / 2012 Pipeline Report: HIV, Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Tuberculosis (TB) Drugs, Diagnostics, Vaccines and Preventive Technologies in Development

Horizon scanning for related technologies in development

 

Categories: Drugs, diagnostics, vaccines, preventive technologies

Published annually (summer/fall)

http://www.pipelinereport.org/home

Walgreens Pipeline Reports

Selection of recent US FDA approved drugs, soon-to-be-approved, and those with potential to be approved within the next few years (in phase III studies) that may have impact for specific disease states

 

Categories: Drugs

Published quarterly

Current pipeline report can be downloaded from: http://healthcare.walgreens. com/healthcare/business/ Resource.jsp?id=Clinical_Data

The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Horizon Scanning Centre

Horizon scanning for emerging health technologies that may have a significant impact on patients or the provision of health services in the near future

 

Categories: Pharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment, diagnostic tests and procedures, therapeutic interventions, rehabilitation and therapy, and public health activities

Published on an ongoing basis

Reports categorized by patient group or specialty: http://www.hsc.nihr.ac.uk/ outputs/specialties/

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)

Pipeline reports for a number of selected diseases states, conditions, and / or patient groups

 

Categories: Drugs

Published on an ongoing basis

Reports classified by the disease state, condition, or patient group for the current year, as well as previous years: http://www.phrma. org/innovation/meds-in-development

EuroScan International Network

Publicly accessible database to which international member agencies contribute information about emerging health technology-related reports published either on their own websites or in HTA-relevant publications; also may include presentations made at various HTA forums

 

Categories: Drugs, devices, procedures, programs, and health care settings

Updated on an ongoing basis

EuroScan database: http://euroscan.org. uk/technologies/public/ search?advance-search=on#

 

Recently added health technology information is listed on the homepage of the EuroScan website: http://euroscan.org.uk/

Pharmacy Practice journal

Results of an annual survey of Canadian drug manufacturers for investigational drugs in the late stages of development

 

Categories: Drugs

Published annually (February / March issue of the journal)

Free access to the Pharmacy Practice electronic journal is available for physicians, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and health care managers by signing up through the Canadian Healthcare Network’s website: www. canadianhealthcarenetwork.ca

The Oxford Centre for Monitoring and Diagnosis in Primary Care (MaDOx)

Publicly accessible horizon scanning reports reviewed by experts in primary health care monitoring and diagnosis

 

Categories: Diagnostic technologies of relevance to primary health care (including biochemical point-of-care tests, electronic diagnostic equipment, clinical prediction rules)

Published on an ongoing basis

Horizon scanning reports:

http://madox.org/horizon-scanning-report

References

  1. Wild C, Simpson S, Douw K, Geiger-Gritsch S, Mathis S, Langer T. Information service on new and emerging health technologies: identification and prioritization processes for a European union-wide newsletter. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2009 Dec;25 Suppl 2:48-55.
  2. EuroScan international network [Internet]. Birmingham (UK): University of Birmingham. Terminology and understanding of early awareness and alert activities; n.d. [cited 2013 Apr 1]. Available from: http://euroscan.org.uk/ outputs/terminology-and-understanding-of-the-activity/
  3. Effective healthcare program: helping you make better treatment choices [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. AHRQ healthcare horizon scanning system; 2013 Feb 6 [cited 2013 Apr 1]. Available from: http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/who-is-involved-in-the-effective-health-care-program1/ahrq-horizon-scanning-system/
  4. Effective healthcare program: helping you make better treatment choices [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Horizon scans; 2012 May 15 [cited 2013 Apr 1]. Available from: http:// effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/search-for-guides-reviews-and-rep orts/?pageaction=displayproduct&productid=881
  5. Pfeifer A. Pipeline report: second quarter 2013 [Internet]. Deerfield (IL): Walgreens Co.; 2013. [cited 2013 May 15]. Available from: http://healthcare.walgreens.com/healthcare/business/Resource.jsp?id=Clinical_Data
  6. PhRMA, research, progress, hope [Internet]. Washington (DC): Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Medicines in development; 2013 [cited 2013 May 15]. Available from: http://www. phrma.org/innovation/meds-in-development
  7. NIHR Horizon Scanning Centre, School of Health & Population Sciences. Horizon scanning centre [Internet]. Birmingham (UK): University of Birmingham. Horizon scanning centre: about us; n.d. [cited 2013 Apr 1]. Available from: http://www.hsc.nihr.ac.uk/about-us/
  8. NIHR Horizon Scanning Centre, School of Health & Population Sciences. Horizon scanning centre [Internet]. Birmingham (UK): University of Birmingham. Horizon scanning centre: outputs; n.d. [cited 2013 Apr 1]. Available from: http://www.hsc.nihr.ac.uk/outputs
  9. EuroScan international network [Internet]. Birmingham (UK): University of Birmingham. About EuroScan; n.d. [cited 2013 Apr 1]. Available from: http://euroscan.org.uk/about/
  10. EuroScan international network [Internet]. Birmingham (UK): University of Birmingham. Outputs; n.d. [cited 2013 Apr 1]. Available from: http:// euroscan.org.uk/outputs/
  11. MaDOx. Department of Primary Health Care: Monitoring & diagnosis in Oxford [Internet]. Oxford (UK): University of Oxford. About us; 2011 Oct 6 [cited 2013 Apr 1]. Available from: http://madox.org/about-us
  12. MaDOx. Department of Primary Health Care: Monitoring & diagnosis in Oxford [Internet]. Oxford (UK): University of Oxford. MaDOx; 2012 Sep 8 [cited 2013 Apr 1]. Available from: http://madox.org/madox

 Cite as: Loorand-Stiver L., Health Technology Update, Issue 15. Ottawa: CADTH, 2013.

Production Notes

Health Technology Update is published by:
Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH)
600-865 Carling Ave.
Ottawa, ON Canada K1S 5S8

Tel.: 613-226-2553
Fax: 613-226-5392

Website: www.cadth.ca

This document may be reproduced provided that the reproduction is for non-commercial purposes only and that appropriate credit is given to CADTH as the original publisher.

Health Technology Update is a source of information for those involved in planning and providing health care in Canada. The information contained in this newsletter is based on a limited literature review and should not be construed as a recommendation for or against the use of a particular health technology. Readers should also be aware that a lack of good quality evidence to support effectiveness does not necessarily mean a lack of effectiveness, particularly in the case of new and emerging technologies.

Production of this newsletter is made possible by a financial contribution from Health Canada and the governments of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and Yukon. CADTH takes sole responsibility for the final form and content of this newsletter.

The statements, conclusions, and views expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily represent the view of Health Canada or any provincial or territorial government.

© 2013 CADTH

ISSN: 1715-5541 (print)

ISSN: 1715-555X (online)

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