Description and technical characteristics of technology


Jaana Isojärvi

Last updated: 4 March 2024

What's new in this update


No new research relevant to the chapter was identified during the March 2024 update.


This domain describes the technology (or a sequence of technologies) and its technical characteristics, i.e. when it was developed and introduced, for what purpose(s); who will use the technology, in what manner, for what condition(s), and at what level of health care. Material requirements for the premises, equipment and staff are described, as are any specific training and information requirements. The regulatory status of the technology should be listed, where applicable. The issues in this domain need to be described in sufficient detail to differentiate the technology from its comparators. Terms and concepts should be used in a manner that allows those unfamiliar with the technology to get an overall understanding of how it functions and how it can be used. It is important to distinguish between scientifically proven versus suspected mechanisms of action. Important terms should be defined, and a glossary or a list of product names provided. The section may include pictures, diagrams, videos, or other visual material, in order to facilitate understanding for persons who are not experts in the field. The issues contained in this domain are related to the four main topics: (1) training and information needed to use the technology; (2) features of the technology; (3) investments and tools required to use the technology and (4) regulatory status. (1) 

Sources to search

The source of information will depend on the location of a technology within its product life cycle (1).

Designing search strategies

Gathering descriptive information does not necessarily imply a systematic literature search. However, for the transparency of HTA the approaches and sources of information should be documented. If a systematic literature search is performed, the basic principles of systematic review methodology should be followed. (1)

Reference list

How to cite this chapter:

Isojarvi J. Description and technical characteristics of technology.  Last updated 4 March 2024. In: SuRe Info: Summarized Research in Information Retrieval for HTA. Available from:

Copyright: the authors