The Swiss Medical Board was a leading Swiss centre of competence in health technology assessment. Health technology assessment (HTA) is the name given to the systematic examination of characteristics, impacts and/or consequences of medical technologies and interventions. An HTA focuses both on the direct intended consequences of these technologies and on indirect, unintentional consequences.
This approach was used to provide the basis for healthcare policy decisions, in particular as to how limited financial resources can best be distributed to medical interventions and technologies. The evaluation was carried out by interdisciplinary groups; they followed a standardised investigation matrix i.e. using clinical, epidemiological, healthcare finance and other information and methods.
Examples of medical interventions and technologies were: diagnostic methods and treatments, medical devices, medicines, rehabilitation and prevention methods, as well as organisational and supporting systems in healthcare.
The Swiss Medical Board analysed and assessed preventive and diagnostic methods and therapeutic interventions from the perspective of medicine, economic considerations, ethics and the law. On this basis, recommendations were developed for political decision makers, medical specialists and other service providers. In selected cases, information leaflets were also published for patients.