Health technology assessment aims to inform decision making by health care policy makers. It is a systematic process that considers health technologies (such as medicines) and can involve a review of:
- clinical evidence compared to existing models of care,
- cost effectiveness,
- social and ethical impacts on the health care system and the lives of patients.
The process advises whether or not a health technology should be used, and if so, how it is best used and which patients are most likely to benefit from it. Assessments vary, but most look at the health benefits and risks of using the technology. They can also look at costs and any other wider impacts that the technology may have on a population or on a society. They can also look at the relationship between costs and benefits and risks, and make determinations about value for money.