Why we provide advice

Our advice is intended to inform effective, safe, patient focused and best value use of health technologies across Scotland.

Core to our advice is impartiality and transparency; acting as an 'honest broker' to inform decision making.  

Find out more about how we go about providing our advice.  

Key drivers for our work include:

The rapid pace of technology innovation, including the integration of digital technology and data into everyday life

From devices, diagnostics and digital, to artificial intelligence and genomics, it is crucial that Scotland has a health technology assessment (HTA) process capable of informing the use of innovative technologies in a timely manner across Scotland.  Our health and care system should seek to utilise valuable individual data to help inform decisions about people’s care and treatment.   

A need to make efficient use of resources.

The economic challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to greater pressure on the health and social care budget in Scotland.  HTA can help decide the maximal value of our resources, through the evaluation of effectiveness and cost effectiveness of health technologies.

The value placed on Once for Scotland decision-making

In recognition of increasing variability in access to care – in-part stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic - advice on the use of health technologies needs to be applied consistently and fairly across Scotland, addressing (or minimising) the risk of variation in access and outcomes.

A focus on health technology safety following The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review

Health technologies have the potential to transform many people’s lives for the better, yet we need to ensure joined-up and robust and evidence-based advice is available to help guide the safe, effective and cost effective use of technologies for the people of Scotland.

The development of new regulatory processes for health technologies in the UK.

EU exit has changed the regulatory landscape for medical devices.  There is an opportunity to close a gap in evidence requirements between regulation and HTA, with a view to creating a more streamlined pathway from product development to use in Scottish practice.

A focus on environmental and sustainability issues related to resource use.

There is increasing awareness of the potential environmental impact of health technologies, and these issues should be taken into account in the provision of advice surrounding their development, use and disposal.  


Last Updated: 11 August 2021