Several definitions of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) have been developed by different stakeholders. There is agreement that the process comprises methodologies from several disciplines and that the purpose of HTA is to inform decision makers about the value of implementing the health technology that is being assessed. 

An international joint task group, consisting of representatives of leading HTA networks, societies and global organisations, co-led by the International network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) [1] and Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) recently published a new definition of HTA including important clarifying information provided in four accompanying notes: 

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is a multidisciplinary process that uses explicit methods to determine the value of a health technology at different points in its life cycle. The purpose is to inform decision-making in order to promote an equitable, efficient, and high-quality health system"[2].

Note 1: A health technology is an intervention developed to prevent, diagnose or treat medical conditions; promote health; provide rehabilitation; or organize healthcare delivery. The intervention can be a test, device, medicine, vaccine, procedure, program, or system.

Note 2: The process is formal, systematic and transparent, and uses state-of-the-art methods to consider the best available evidence.

Note 3: The dimensions of value for a health technology may be assessed by examining the intended and unintended consequences of using a health technology compared to existing alternatives. These dimensions often include clinical effectiveness, safety, costs and economic implications, ethical, social, cultural and legal issues, organisational and environmental aspects, as well as wider implications for the patient, relatives, caregivers, and the population. The overall value may vary depending on the perspective taken, the stakeholders involved, and the decision context.

Note 4: HTA can be applied at different points in the lifecycle of a health technology, i.e., pre-market, during market approval, post-market, through to the disinvestment of a health technology. [3]

In the EU HTA regulation, HTA is defined as: 

Health technology assessment (HTA) is a multidisciplinary process that summarises information about the medical, social, economic and ethical issues related to the use of a health technology in a systematic, transparent, unbiased and robust manner [4]. 

For the purpose of this course, we use the definition from the EU HTA regulation.


[1] International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA). Source:

[2] INAHTA/HTAi  HTA definition (2020) Source: 

[3] Introduction to Health Technology Assessment. National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology. Source:

[4] Regulation (EU) 2021/2282 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2021 on health technology assessment and amending Directive 2011/24/EU.