The EuroScan International Network is a collaborative network of agencies and an association of individuals and institutions for the sharing of information and development of methods for the early identification of important emerging or obsolete health-related technologies. By improving data collection, the sharing of information, innovation and best practices, EuroScan’s approach can improve the use of health technologies while also improving the quality of care at a reduced cost. On October 24th 2017, professionals from across Europe met in Bilbao to discuss the investment and disinvestment of health technologies.
Limited resources in healthcare systems create the need for prioritization, efficiency, and a better allocation of those resources. Over the past few decades, there has been a focus on managing the entry of health technologies through the use of health technology assessments (HTA). Newer health technologies are likely to be more expensive – often justified by an increase in the health benefit they provide – but may eventually become obsolete, and there is a growing need to not only identify and assess but also to remove health technologies when they are no longer of value.
Several endeavours have been made within different healthcare systems to manage this specific challenge. They include HTA processes, methodological guidance to assist priority setting activities, early awareness and alert systems, horizon scanning, shared decision making, knowledge transfer, re-assessment and disinvestment strategies. Different countries apply different methods and by looking at these varied approaches, broader frameworks can be created to allocate resources with greater effectiveness.